Bobby La Gesse/Land of 10
Herky, the Iowa mascot

Why Iowa-Iowa State wrestling needs to become a real rivalry, Iowa-Indiana basketball breakdown and more

The best way to start your day is right here at Landof10.com as we prepare you for everything you need to know about Iowa sports. We’ll share our Iowa Breakfast Club here with you at 8:30 a.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.

So let’s get to it. Here is the Iowa Breakfast Club for Tuesday, Feb. 21.


So Iowa-Iowa wrestling could get interesting

The potential is there. It’s overflowing, actually, with Iowa-Iowa State wrestling — like a 3-star prospect with all the physical gifts who just needs the mental makeup to play like a 5-star gem.

But for it to happen, new Iowa State wrestling coach Kevin Dresser must make it competitive. Iowa has won the last 12 dual meets between the in-state rivals.

But don’t expect Dresser, a former Hawkeyes national champion, to back down to Iowa. He was taking shots at the Hawkeyes last weekend — while still coaching Virginia Tech at the National Duals. It’s part of why this rivalry could become interesting.

Dresser doesn’t sound like a fan of Iowa coach Tom Brands, either (consider yourself warned about the language used in the link). Brands told FloWrestling that Virginia Tech is making him look like a liar.

Quick history lesson: Brands coached at Virginia Tech before leaving for Iowa in 2006. Issues arose between the Hokies and the former coach when wrestlers wanted to leave Virginia Tech to follow Brands to Iowa. Adding to the drama, the Hokies then named Dresser to succeed Brands.

Bottom line: The old Virginia Tech coach (now at Iowa), took part of the Hokies roster with him, making it harder for the next Virginia Tech coach (now the new coach at Iowa State) to build the program back up.

There is enough potential drama here to start a soap opera. (Suggested title: As The Singlet Turns).

This all grabbed the attention of the Breakfast Club, and we know more here about the World Wrestling Entertainment championship lineage from the 1980s and 1990s than the NCAA championship lineage. Iowa and Iowa State already are getting the attention of the casual observer. It needs to maintain it.

A wrestling-mad state such as Iowa deserves the annual dual between the top two in-state programs to be more akin to the main event at WrestleMania instead of a squash match that’s over in 10 seconds.

An Iowa State victory or two would go a long way. So would a few more barbs from the Cyclones about the Hawkeyes.

“If he gets that job, I know we are going to have to go to war with Iowa State just like we do every other year,” Brands told FloWrestling last weekend. “It doesn’t change anything.”

That is the problem. Nothing will change in this (one-sided) rivalry until Iowa State improves.

The Cy-Hawk wrestling dual could become Must-See TV, just like the football game. It’s on a former Hawkeye to make it happen.


Iowa-Indiana Breakdown

The breakdown for the Indiana-Iowa men’s basketball game Tuesday (8 p.m. CT/9 p.m. ET, ESPN) is simple.

The Hawkeyes (14-13, 6-8 Big Ten) need a win. Any hope of making the NIT almost requires a victory against the Hoosiers, especially with road games against No. 24 Maryland and No. 16 Wisconsin up next.

The path to the NIT isn’t easy, as Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazette pointed out on Monday.

But it should be the goal. It would benefit a young team to get a taste of postseason basketball. Iowa won’t get it without a win against the Hoosiers.


Bobblehead night

Holding a bobblehead night for an Iowa men’s basketball senior is a tradition. Forward Dale Jones has his bobblehead night against Indiana, but it may not be his final game.

Jones, who suffered a fractured right wrist in November and has missed much of this season, is a fifth-year senior who was granted an extra year of eligibility and has an uncertain future. Will he leave the team after the season?

“That’s not been decided yet, but it’s a possibility,” coach Fran McCaffery said. “That would be his call. He will graduate. If you graduate, you have the opportunity to go wherever you want. Does he want to come back, does he want to go somewhere else, does he want to play professionally?

“Once you graduate, it’s your call. I’m happy he’s going to graduate. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do.”


Lots of links