Bobby La Gesse/Land of 10
Iowa fans weren’t cheering for Tim Polasek’s team last season, but they will come this season.

What Iowa position group will Tim Polasek coach, why Nebraska hiring Bob Elliott is good for the rivalry, and more

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

So let’s get to it. Here is your Wake-Up Call for Tuesday, Feb. 14.

What position group will it be?

It appears the Hawkeyes filled their second assistant coaching vacancy. Jeff Kolpack of the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reported Monday that North Dakota State offensive coordinator Tim Polasek will join the Iowa staff.

The question isn’t if Polasek appears to be a fit for this staff. The interesting question is what position Polasek will coach. His experience is all over the spectrum. He’s spent time with wide receivers, tight ends, fullbacks, defensive backs and special teams, as well as a spring working with quarterbacks in his decade-plus in coaching. He was the running backs coach on top of his coordinator duties with the Bison.

Polasek was overseeing the offense that rushed for 239 yards in a 23-21 win against Iowa last September. It wouldn’t be a shock if North Dakota State’s offensive performance played a role in him landing the job. It also wouldn’t be a shock if his new role involves the ground game, possibly with the running backs, considering North Dakota’s smashmouth style of football isn’t that different from what Iowa does on offense.

The Iowa Cornhusker defense

The news release said Nebraska hired former Iowa player and coach Bob Elliott as safeties coach on Monday. What it really said was the Heroes Trophy game just became more interesting.

Nebraska didn’t just tab a Hawkeye to fix its secondary. It turned to one of the first families of Iowa athletics. Elliott’s father, Bump, served as an assistant football coach in the 1950s and as athletic director from 1971-90. Bob Elliott played for Iowa from 1971-75 before building a strong reputation as a defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator over parts of five decades. Nebraska is turning to a Hawkeye to help its defense … for the second time this offseason.

The defensive coordinator and a defensive assistant are from Iowa. These are the kind of moves that can spice up what the Big Ten wants to become a rivalry. Iowa and Nebraska isn’t there yet, but it’s trending in the right direction and the long-term outlook is bullish.

The Diaco and Elliott hires could serve as an accelerant for this (hopeful) rivalry. Time will tell.

One thing is certain: Both Diaco and Elliott will be asked about the Iowa game come late November, and not just because it’s going to be on Black Friday.

Set your recruiting calendars

Iowa fans may want to be near social media on at 4 p.m. ET on Friday. Hawkeyes 2018 WR target Micah Jones will announce his college decision at that time.

The Hawkeyes are one of seven finalists for the 247 composite 4-star prospect. Jones had previously narrowed his list down to a final five, but the number increased by two in his tweet Monday.

Any debate on the true number of finalists may not matter. It will be a Connecticut women’s basketball dropping a league game-level upset if Jones commits to anyone other than Notre Dame. Look at the percentage next to the Fighting Irish on 247’s crystal ball prediction.

Tough news, but a ‘positive’ diagnosis

Kansas State announced Monday that football coach and former Iowa assistant Bill Snyder is undergoing treatment for throat cancer. The good news is Snyder’s doctors are expecting a “positive outcome,” according to a Kansas State press release.

Former players agree with the doctors and think Snyder will beat cancer as Kellis Robinett of the Kansas City Star wrote on Monday.

Snyder oversaw one of the most unlikely turnarounds in college football history, turning Kansas State, a former Big 12 doormat, into one of the top teams in the conference a regular in the Top 25 polls. He’s won 202 games, two Big 12 titles and six different national coach of the year awards in 25 seasons. He served as the Iowa quarterback coach and offensive coach from 1979-88.

Snyder is beloved in college football circles. So everyone — not just those in Manhattan, Kan., or Iowa City — will be pulling for Snyder during his cancer treatment.

More Iowa-Kansas State news

Kansas State also announced the retirement of offensive coordinator Del Miller on Monday. Miller served as an Iowa assistant from 1978-88, alongside Snyder. The Wildcats put together a tribute video for Miller.

Lots of links