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Sports Then and Now

University of Iowa Defense Will Dominate in 2010 0

Posted on July 29, 2010 by JA Allen

Iowa Football begins in September, until then fans only speculate about how good the Hawks will be in 2010.

Are you ready for some Hawkeye football?  It is not for the faint of heart or fair-weather fans.  You are either a rock or you are not.  There is no fence riding or “boohooing.”  You gotta wear a snarl and be ready for a blow to the gut––as disappointment can hit at any moment.

What you must understand from the outset is that Iowa is all about defense.  While lack of “Big D” can undermine most college football programs, defense remains the heart and soul of the University of Iowa’s recent favorable football fortunes.

Just look at last year. You had to have a strong heart and nerves of steel to weather the tsunami peaks and valleys that characterized an Iowa victory in 2009.  The Hawkeyes eked by week after week, securing four wins by three points or less. Herald the defense!

Penn State's offense was smothered by a swarming Iowa defense in 2009 in Happy Valley.

The Hawkeyes also came back in the second half in their games against Penn State and Wisconsin to secure wins.

Another heart-stopper came on the last minute touchdown pass to steal the game away at Michigan State as time expired.

Finally, what about holding on until Iowa scored four touchdowns in the last quarter to suffocate the Hoosier’s hopes for an upset?

Sedatives du jour became the cocktail before each Iowa kickoff.

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Mighty Zultan Denounces Big Ten Expansion; Reviews Bowl Picks 1

Posted on December 18, 2009 by JA Allen

Why, you ask, would Zultan object to adding another team to the Big Ten? Well, as the self-appointed prognosticator for the Big Ten Conference, there is his reputation to consider.

Obviously, it has been a constant source of embarrassment to the sagacious seer that the Big Ten already has 11 teams.

When the Big Eight Conference realigned, it became the Big 12. Why isn’t the Big Ten known as the Big 11? This weighs heavily upon the great one’s already overtaxed mind. Was it simply that odd numbers are bad luck? Was it to skimp on making new signage?

How does it look for a conference that prides itself on its academic standards and its ethics to promulgate such an obvious misstatement—to have 11 teams, yet only acknowledge 10?

That is like hiding one of your children in the attic. For years, of course, it was Northwestern shivering up there.

But the Wildcats are no longer the odd man out. This year the name of the shunned team is debatable. Zultan, however, believes that Big Blue is being cloistered from view. Read the rest of this entry →

Shaking off the Dust: Iowa Hawkeyes and Big Ten Needs Some Changes! 1

Posted on December 05, 2009 by JA Allen
Iowa v Ohio State

The injury to Ricky Stanzi in the Northwestern game changed the complection of the finals weeks of the season for the Hawkeyes.

The University of Iowa football team resumed practice Saturday inside the “dome” facility constructed during the Hayden Fry era, when the Iowa Hawkeyes became regular participants in postseason play. The team needed an indoor place to practice after cold weather arrived in Iowa in order to keep the team competitive.

As they hobbled onto the practice field Saturday, some of the Hawkeyes’ more illustrious walking wounded returned, trying to shuffle off the constraints of tape and crutches.

Quarterback Ricky Stanzi and running back Adam Robinson came back to the offensive side of the field while linebackers Jeremiha Hunter and Jeff Tarpinian rejoined the defense.

This Iowa team finished with a 10-2 record, one notch behind Ohio State, who will represent the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl. Iowa awaits the announcement of its bowl destination on Sunday.

Until then, the University of Iowa opponent remains a mystery.

When Stanzi went out early in the second quarter of the Northwestern game, Iowa lost two in a row to Northwestern and Ohio State, though the Hawkeyes took the game against the Buckeyes to overtime before finally losing on the road.

The Hawkeyes had a very tough road schedule in 2009 and still managed to lose only one “away” game—to Ohio State. Their strength of schedule explains their high ranking in the BCS. The Hawkeyes currently sit at No. 9.

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College Football Week 7 Predictions: Top The Zultan 0

Posted on October 13, 2009 by JA Allen

Zultan the magnificent almost achieved nirvana this past weekend, missing the promised objective because the Aggies failed to live up to their promise to shoot down the Cowboys.  Texas A&M came so close – but failed in the end.  The Oklahoma State Cowboys managed to circle the wagons and hold off the ensuing attack by the retro rural ones…Zultan never forgives these disappointments.

I was told by my exalted group leader that two persons actually achieved perfection on the day, picking 10 for 10.  They must have offered more than the penny-pinching Zultan can afford.  Such is the fate of poverty-stricken fortune tellers – no grease for the wheel when you need it.

Zultan was 9 for 10 or 90 percent if you failed math.  On the season – the all-seeing one climbs to 40 of 51 or 78 percent to date.

This week is the real test – the extreme challenge – the make ’em or break ’em Saturday.  Is this the week you feel lucky?  Well do ya? Lucky enough to pit your puny predicting powers against Zultan – Big 10 Seer for the ages?  Time to step up and take a whirl…
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Can You Top The College Football Zultan? 0

Posted on September 29, 2009 by JA Allen

Zultan promises to lay off the grain alcohol after tanking last week, scoring only six out of 10 or 60 percent.

Overall, Zultan comes in at 77 percent, 24 of 31.  Miami and the Cal Bears cost Zultan mightily while the Iowa win pleased him even though Zultan chickened out and picked favored Penn State.  Northwestern also sorely disappointed the soggy seer whose rain-soaked teams seemed to lay down and drown.

This week Zultan finds the road difficult.  Home wins are favored. To keep the magic number at 10,  Zultan has added four contests outside the Big 10.  Join in the fun – pit your puny predicting powers against Zultan—Big 10 Seer for the ages…

(1) Arkansas State @ Iowa
This no-brainer is just what Zultan needs after last week.  Iowa will win this one at home after drying out the gold and black uniforms and practicing hanging onto those Ricky Stanzi passes.  After upsetting Penn State 21-10 last week on the road, the Hawkeyes will need to cement their new ranking with a solid win at home.  The Iowa faithful will welcome the guys home in grand style and watch the Hawkeyes win their fifth in a row.
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College Football Preview: Big Ten Looks To Overcome Recent Struggles 0

Posted on September 04, 2009 by Dean Hybl

With a year of experience Terrelle Pryor could emerge as one of the top players in the Big Ten.

With a year of experience Terrelle Pryor could emerge as one of the top players in the Big Ten.

Overview: Once recognized annually as one of the strongest conference in college football, the Big Ten has taken a reputation hit in recent years with the poor showing of its top teams in bowl games. Last season the conference was 1-6 in bowl games with only Iowa pulling out a victory. Ohio State and Penn State start the season ranked in the top 10, but the conference must have some strong early non-conference victories if they hope to have a squad seriously considered for the BCS Championship Game.
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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

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