Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hawkeyes go to 9-0

Despite six turnovers and a 17 point deficit, the #4 ranked Iowa Hawkeyes extended their win streak of nine to start of the 09 season for a 42-24 win over the Indiana Hoosiers.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

40 Under 40

At the Cedar Rapids Marriott the Corridor Business Journal of the Cedar Rapids / Iowa City area held their 40 Under 40 Award Dinner. Among those in the 2009 class was my wife, Dana Engelbert who currently is Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for Goodwill of the Heartland.

The Goodwill of the Heartland encompasses the southeast Iowa district consisting of Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Davenport.

Monday, October 26, 2009

College Football Week 8

Bobby Bowden, you OLD dog, you......With a come from behind win against the Tar Heels the heat on Bowden has quieted down, but only for a week.....Congratulations Ball State Head Coach, Stan Parrish on winning your first game as a head coach since 1986. He hasn't been a head coach every year, but the losing streak was ended at 34......Much has been made about the mediocrity of the Big Ten, but take a look at the schedule Texas has played. Their non-conference slate included wins over Louisiana-Monroe, UTEP and Wyoming with an upcoming battle with Central Florida. NONE of those teams are from BCS conferences. Iowa is on track to play the top five Big Ten teams on the road as well as take on an opponent from the Big 12 (Iowa State) with a home game against Arizona. The national media can criticize the Big Ten all they want, but that is based on the success of the past years, as is the respect Texas is receiving. Remember in Colt McCoy's freshman season, his 9-3 team went down to the final drive with a 6-6 Iowa team in their home state. If you want to look at the past, take that into consideration......I am continuing to lobby for a BCS Buster Saturday. The idea of a playoff has taken a backseat to the current bowl structure. I, too am in favor of the bowl lineup, but there is no reason to implement a system to place the appropriate teams in the correct bowls. A criticism of TCU and Boise State is their lack of strength of schedule. "Those teams could not compete on a weekly basis with the BCS conferences," is the argument. If so, pair them up on either Thanksgiving weekend or the following Saturday. As is the case in basketball with Bracket Buster weekend, college football could pair the appropriate teams from the WAC, Mountain West, MAC and Sun Belt. A year ago Boise State could've played Ball State and this year the pairing could be against TCU.

Rivalry Trophy Tournament - Qtrs

The Rivalry Trophy Tournament is down to its quarterfinal round. Two selections to be voted upon. Please vote on both in the upper right hand corner. The selections are:
#1 Floyd of Rosedale v #4 Old Brass Spittoon
#1 Paul Bunyan Axe v #4 Heatland Trophy
Voting ends Monday, November 2 at 8pm

Night Out on the Town

The Midwest has some of the best steakhouses in America. Located in the heart of Indianapolis is St. Elmos, a popular place to have a good steak with friends and teammates. Indianapolis is home to the NCAA, Big Ten Basketball Tournaments, Colts and Pacers and on any given night you will find members of any of these organizations dining in. Many of the more notable players on these teams frequent St. Elmos with the celebrities photos lining the walls of the bar area.
Of course the steaks are one of a kind, but St. Elmos is also famous for its shrimp cocktails. Definitely a must to order, the sauce has a deep horseradish flavor with the spices bringing tears to the customers' eyes.

Michigan State in Pictures

Miami Air is the charter plane company of the Iowa Hawkeyes. Many other schools use this same service. After dropping us off in East Lansing, they proceeded to fly to Penn State and pick up the Nittany Lions and transport them to Michigan.
At the Friday walk thru, Offensive Coordinator Ken O'Keefe points out to punter Ryan Donohue where the play clocks are located. At Spartan Stadium these clocks are in line with the hash marks at the end of the MSU message board system.

Two Iowa Football Field Goal Specialists have a chance to meet up before kick-off. Known for the game winner over Penn State in 2008, Daniel Murray (left) stands next to Rob Houghtlin who is known for many clutch kicks including the game winner with :02 left in the game as #1 Iowa defeated #2 Michigan in 1985. He also connected on two game-winning field goals against Minnesota and San Diego State in 1986.

By far the smallest visitor locker room in the Big Ten. Seventy players and over 25 coaches and staff members crowd into this small space.

Prior to Saturday's football game, the defending national runner-up Michigan State Spartans play an intersquad basketball game in the Breslin Center.

Over the past ten years, the Spartan Men's basketball program has reached the final four five times, winning it once in 2000.
Seated on the bench, Michigan State Head Basketball Coach Tom Izzo oversees the playing on the court.
Outside the Breslin Center.

Also outside the Breslin Center is a statue of Earving "Magic" Johnson, who played in the late 1970s. Definitely one of the greats in Michigan State history.

Jenison Field House was the home to Michiagn State basketball before the Breslin Center opened.

The banks of the Red Cedar, the river which runs through the Michigan State campus.

"Sparty," a stature symbolizing the mascot of Michigan State.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Iowa - Michigan State: The Game

The 2009 game between the Hawkeyes and Spartans was a classic in a series of games that go down to the wire. On this wet, cold and windy weekend, fans endured the elements to watch a game that will be remembered for many years by Hawkeye fans who took the seven hour drive. Below are a series of photos from the game with many more to come of the weekend.

The foliage was at its finest as Spartan Stadium sits in the background.

Tailgaters filled the parking lots outside the stadium hours prior to kick off.

Michigan State Head Football Coach, Mark Dantonio walks the field after the tarp was removed.

Lights are on ninety minutes prior to kick off.

Former Michigan State assistant coach, Norm Parker (left) talks with the Spartan Radio broadcasting team of George Blaha (center) and former QB Jim Miller (right).

Amid a steady rain, tailgaters moved inside their cars to stay away from the elements.

Stands didn't fill up early, but most of the capacity crowd were in their seats in time for kick off.

The Spartan Band marches into a "S" formation..... well as the Michigan State logo.

The Hawkeyes take to the field in front of the Iowa fans.

I am joined by the Michigan State video crew. Tom Shephard (left) and Matt Harper (right) are the video coordinators for the Spartan football team.

Following the last play, which occurred 0n a 4th and two at the two with 2 seconds to play, the Iowa Football players, coaches and staff celebrate a last second victory.

After meeting the media, fans and autograph seekers waited for the Iowa QB (Rick Stazni),

Hawkeyes Make History

It took every minute, every second, but the Iowa Hawkeyes scored on the last play of the game to become the first team in school history to start a season 8-0. Ricky Stanzi to Marvin McNutt on 4th and Goal from the two put the Hawkeyes ahead of Michigan State as time expired.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rivalry Trophy Bracket - Next Round

The Governor's Victory Bell advanced to take on the Heartland Trophy. In each bracket the #6 upset the #5. On the other side, Land Grant takes on the Old Brass Spittoon.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Iowa Campus

After enduring a month of cooler than normal temps, today is the type of weather one would expect during October in Iowa City. With a high in the 60s, a few clouds in the sky, it was one of the more picture perfect fall days in eastern Iowa. Adjacent is the landmark of the Iowa Campus, the Old Capital.

Night Out on the Town

In the popular Des Moines Court Avenue area is the Liars Club, one of the city's best dance clubs. Located above Legends, this club rates up there with some of the larger cities best dance bars. Playing music of today as well as the best the 1980's has to offer. And while the crowd consists of many who have recently graduated from college, there were also those in attendance that were graduating while the 1980s music was popular.

Iowa City Quarterback Club

Every Monday at the Masonic Temple in Downtown Iowa City, the Iowa City Quarterback Club meets with a number of guest speakers from the local athletic teams. During the Fall a member of the Iowa Football staff makes a weekly appearance along with either the Head Football Coach from a local high school, or a head coach of one of Iowa's olympic sports. Today joining myself was Steve Houghton, Iowa's Head Tennis Coach.

Another full house greeted me. The Fall is when they have their highest attendance. As you may see from the above photos, many of those in the club are of retirement age and head south once football season is over. A year ago I took a picture of the main body, but the "bullpen," or secondary room asked to be photographed today.

College Football Week 7

With the first BCS poll announced over the weekend, this is a good time to showcase the ladies of one of the top FCS programs. On Saturday Southern Illinois defeated Northern Iowa in one of the most impressvie victories of the day. In a sold out UNI Dome, the Salukies from Carbondale defeated a Panther team which is next to unbeatable at home. However, in a division with a play-off all this victory will do for SIU is position them in a 16 team play-off. The Panthers have their backs to the wall with a must-win game at South Dakota State this weekend. With a loss, the Panthers are out of the play-off.
In College Basketball, ESPN has introduced Bracket Buster Weekend. It is intended to generate excitement among non-BCS conference teams and improve their seeding in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. The time has come for ESPN to do the same with College Football. Boise State is #4 in the first BCS poll released on Sunday. TCU is #8. Among the remaining game Boise has, one is against a team with a winning record giving them little hope to improve in the BCS poll. ESPN could reserve Thanksgiving weekend for a BCS buster set of games. Pairings could be announced on November 1 and each year the host team can rotate among the different conferences. A Boise State - TCU match-up would definitely create interest and perhaps provide credibility to the winner. Will the winner have a legitimate claim to being in the National Title Game? Doubtful, but it is one step closer to the playoff the media and fans have been asking for, with the winner guaranteed a spot in a BCS bowl.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Game Time - Wisconsin

The Hawkeyes took a 6-0 record into one of the Big Ten's toughest environments. The battle between border states is also for the Heartland Trophy. It is a bull that came to be before the 2004 game in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes won the game, kept the trophy and became one of two teams in the country to be 7-0 in 2009.

The team emerges from the locker room for pre game warm ups. The seats at the far end of Camp Randall are reserved for the UW students. "Bucky's Creatures" are very fashionably late to Badger football games. On this day the seats weren't completely full until early 2nd quarter.

Bret Bielema, a former Hawkeye football player and coach now leads the Badger football program. Bret and I have been friends since our freshman year at Iowa. He also was one of my groomsmen at my wedding. (Photo Courtesy Erick Tjarks).

History was set on this day at Wisconsin. For the first time the opponents were allowed to share the home video booth. David "Big D" Blaker allowed us to shoot from his booth, just feet from our designated location.

The University of Wisconsin Band, among the nation's best, plays their popular fight song, "On Wisconsin."

At the end of the 3rd quarter at Camp Randall the Wisconsin fans "Jump Around." We, as video guys decided to join in.

Leading Up to Game Time - Wisconsin

October may be the best time to travel to Madison. The foliage is at its peak, and the crisp Autumn temperatures allow for the full aroma of the brat grills set-up outside Camp Randall Stadium. It is a very easy trip from Iowa City to Madison. Except for a 20 mile trek on Highway 1, it is literally US Highway 151 all the way to the Stadium.

While the sign Welcomes you to Wisconsin, many Badger fans feel otherwise. A popular afternoon radio show host on "The Big 1070" informed the listeners that he "hate(s) Iowa."

The trip is only three hours long, but Iowa Video Student Erick Tjarks finds it hard to stay awake.

 On Capital Square is a popular Madison night spot. The Old Fashioned was full of Badger Homecoming enthusiasts.

 It was the UW Video Staff along side the Iowa Video Staff at the Old Fashioned. Pictured are David Blaker, Rob Porteus and Ryan O'Donnell from the Badgers. I am joined by a Iowa Video Staff Alum, Heather Van Peursem (right) and her friend Brit.

 The State Capitol of Wisconsin.

 The sun rises early on Camp Randall Stadium. Arriving to the stadium two hours prior to the team's arrival, support staff get the stadium prepared for the game. It was a quick turnaround for the Iowa team managers. The night before they were crushed by the Wisconsin managers, 37-6 in the annual battle for the toolbox.

Among the many lakes within the Madison city limits, Lake Mendota is nearest to Camp Randall Stadium, located just blocks from the home of the Badgers.

Of course tailgating is popular around the stadium. Here cars are squeezed into the adjoining neighborhood. Grills are as popular as the cool beverages being consumed.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hawks go to 7-0, Down Wisconsin

Spotting the Badgers an early 10-0 lead, the Hawkeyes shut them down the rest of the game and beat Wisconsin 20-10. Tony Moeaki and Adam Robinson each had a touchdown while Amari Spievey intercepted two Badger passes to secure victory. The Hawkeyes take their undefeated record into East Lansing against Michigan State next Saturday for a game in prime time on the Big Ten Network.
The victory over the Badgers gave the Hawkeyes the Heartland Trophy for the second consecutive year.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Battle for the Toolbox

Saturday's battle between Iowa and Wisconsin isn't the only game between the two schools this weekend. Friday night the Battle for the Toolbox takes place between the managers for each school. The Hawkeyes are looking to extend their five-year win streak when they enter the McClain Center, across the alley from Camp Randall at 10pm. Admittance is free for the two-half flag football game.