The Times-Delphic

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Big 4 football: two week update

I'm sorry about missing last week's football update ... midterms. I did, however, fulfill a request for a non-sports post.

But now it's back to sports. Drake faces its biggest challenge of the year on Saturday as it hosts San Diego. The Bulldogs are fresh off wins vs. NAIA Waldorf and a 29-0 decision at Butler. Saturday’s game at Drake Stadium pits No. 1 vs. No. 2. The Sports Network Poll released Monday kept San Diego as the top-ranked team, but moved the Bulldogs up to No. 2. Both teams are undefeated in the conference, and the winner will likely take the conference crown and advance to the Gridiron Classic, a “bowl game” with the PFL winner and the Northeastern Conference Champion.

For this level of football, this is as big as it gets … and you’re invited. Seriously, the Drake athletic administration wants to sellout Drake Stadium, so they’re selling tickets for $1. They figure 14,000 fans will help the Bulldogs beat Jim Harbaugh’s squad (yes, THAT Jim Harbaugh, the former NFL player). So if $1 tickets, $1 hot dogs and $1 popcorn aren’t enough for you, I guarantee an upset Jim Harbaugh is quite entertaining and will be well worth your dollar.

Are you going to the game? Why or why not? Do you think Drake will get its sellout Saturday? How do you think the Bulldogs will do against the Toredos?

Kickoff is at 6 p.m., and that gives you plenty of time to watch the other football games around the state. … Like Iowa at the Big House. It’s a shot at redemption … a long shot. After the Hawkeyes finally showed they were able to deliver a sound pounding — 47-17 over Purdue in Iowa City on Oct. 7 — Iowa drops a 31-28 decision at Indiana on Oct. 14

The simplest explanation is Indiana wanted more, and while the Hawkeyes were missing some key players, the Hoosiers were sporting mostly underclassmen. The quarterback is a freshman. And Indiana made Iowa pay for its mistakes — a fumble in the red zone and an interception in the 2-minute warning.

Hopefully the loss will inspire Iowa to win at Michigan this Saturday. The Hawkeyes will need the ‘W’ if they’re still looking to go to a January bowl.

Do you think Iowa can pull off the upset in the Big House? Do you think they need the win to go to a January bowl or is it still too early to tell.

However, Iowa State will need a win over Tech Tech this weekend at Jack Trice in order to go to any bowl. The Cyclones are 0-3 in the Big 12 and need to win three of their last five games the get the magic six wins to be bowl eligible.

Iowa State lost 28-14 vs. Nebraska at Ames and 34-9 at Norman, Okla. The Red Raiders are beatable, though. They just gave Colorado its first Big 12 win last week. After Texas Tech, Iowa State’s best chance at wins No. 4 and No. 5 are Kansas and Missouri at Ames. The Cyclones also have Colorado at Boulder and Kansas State at Manhattan.

Do you think Iowa State can win six games to get to a bowl? If not, do you think Jamie Pollard will fire coach Dan McCarney? McCarney got a raise last summer and is now a millionaire, but Pollard booted the men’s basketball coach shortly after Iowa State did not make post-season play (nope, not even the NIT). Yes, there was that issue with the D-I Scheduling, but McCarney’s past isn’t squeaky clean either.

Since nearly beating Iowa State, Northern Iowa has won its last two games vs. Missouri State on Oct. 7 and Indiana State on Oct. 14. The Panthers travel to Ohio this weekend to play Youngstown State.

How do you like Northern Iowa’s rebound since losing to Division II North Dakota State. Do you think the Panthers can keep it up and get back to the I-AA playoffs?

Finally, did you notice that basketball practice started. The season starts in two weeks.


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