Friday, January 6, 2012

College Football Year In Review

The Iowa Football season has come to a close and instead of looking forward, I want to take this opportunity to look back and highlight some of the different good and bad to the season. Feel free to add some of your own in the comments long as you keep it clean. And check back as I may update as more come to mind.

  • Best game I worked: Iowa v Michigan - Any time Michigan is defeated, it has to rank as one of the best of the year. It marked the third straight year Michigan lost to the Hawkeyes and it came down to the final play.
  • Best game I witnessed as a fan: Big Ten Championship Game, Wisconsin v Michigan State. A one game playoff to decide who represents the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl. This game surpassed expectations anyone had when divisional play was decided. The game had its switches of momentum with great plays in all three phases.
  • Worst Marching Band: Oklahoma. A traditional football power that is Oklahoma, I expected greatness from their marching band. Their song selection didn't "wow" me, and their formations were extremely basic. I was waiting for the "OU" formation, which I never saw, just one big "O."
  • Best Friday Night Chocolate Chip Cookies: University Inn and Convention Center, West Lafayette. Part of the Friday night snack are the chocolate chip cookies. Some hotels can hit a home run with them, as the University Inn did. Or some may strike out. It is important to have fresh, chewy cookies, not hard and crunchy.
  • Best Press Box Food: Iowa's Kinnick Stadium. The fare on the fourth floor gets knocked my some in the media, but it is free with some variety. At Nebraska we were treated to Pizza and Popcorn, but in Iowa City there is always some sort of sandwich with salad and dessert. And if they run out, there are always hot dogs.
  • Best Press Box Hot Dogs: Sun Devil Stadium. I'm not sure why. Perhaps I was hungry, or tired of the many different types of Tostitos being offered, but the hot dogs were so good that I had to have two. I didn't need two, but after having one, I felt like getting another.
  • Worst press box beverage: Hot Tea at Ross-Ade Stadium. Shooting from atop the Purdue press box on a cold, dark and windy day, I was hoping for a hot chocolate before heading up at game time. But after asking, I was told there was no hot chocolate. To my disappointment as I do not like coffee I then asked for green tea. The nice lady who helped me find a packet with hot water. But my tea did not look green and the water was not hot.
  • Song that needs to retire: Sweet Caroline. Great tune to get the fans involved, but it was played in the stadiums of our first two losses. And it was re-played after the 3OT finish in Ames. I don't need to hear that again.
  • Most surprising game day experience: Nebraska. Another football power like the Big Red I was expecting many tailgators arriving early for the 11am start. But our 7am drive to the stadium went quite smoothly and there were more Hawkeye fans with their tents than those wearing red.
  • Worst game day experience: Purdue. A week after the Boilermakers beat Ohio State for their biggest upset of the season, a Senior Day crowd was very sparse. The Hawkeye fans in attendance made more noise than the other black and gold supporters.
  • Game I would've like to been at: Nebraska at Penn State. This was the first game following the scandal that rocked the Nittany Lion, and College Football world. After witnessing an incredible environment in 2009, and another great crowd a few weeks earlier, I would've been interested in seeing how different the Penn State crowd was. And I like to be where the news is happening. Many storylines were unfolding in State College that day.
  • Favorite Stadium: Sun Devil Stadium. Aside from it being our bowl game site, the home of Arizona State is tucked nicely into a mountain side. Super Bowls and National Championships have been played there creating for an arena of great history. However it is better to be the home team than the visitors. The walk from the visiting locker room is up to 2 minutes, while the home's is located 30ft from the field.

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