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 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 Thursday, Nov. 3.
Friday Night Lights
The Big Ten is taking over Friday night. The league announced on Wednesday that it will play a series of Friday games starting in 2017
The Big Ten is going to go head-to-head with the original Friday Night Lights of high school football. Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz didn’t sound like a fan of the move. Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said the Hawkeyes will do it, but with some conditions. That seemed to be a general theme across the league, with Penn State coming out saying it won’t play a Friday night home contest.
Something tells me these coaches and athletic directors won’t have as much say in the process as their statements from today imply, if only because everyone that said it will play on the Friday of Labor Day weekend won’t be able to do it.
College athletics is big business and business said TV would pay a big chunk of change to get some college football on Friday night, which will likely bring stronger ratings and more ad revenue than most other programming.
TV wanted Friday night football and it got Friday night football. This is how modern college sports works. Whatever can be done to squeeze the most money out of it will be done. Business is business after all.
TV is probably the only thing that truly benefits from a Friday night game. The common response is for a football coach like Ferentz to say he doesn’t want a Friday night game. It impacts recruiting. A Friday night game won’t get the same number of visitors a Saturday (or even a Thursday) game would. This is something a team can work around, but one of the biggest home games falling on a Friday night probably won’t sit well in most coaching offices across the league.
Friday night games don’t help the season ticket holders. Not everyone lives in town and can make a game regardless of the date. A Friday game can require some to take a day off work. Truth be told, this is a minor inconvenience for those without kids. For families with tickets, it could be problematic.
The biggest impact comes with high school football. Those playing in the game can’t attend. Those with family members in the game can’t attend. There will be those who choose high school games over college. More will likely go the other way and skip high school games, and the impact of a smaller gate revenue will some hit high school athletic departments that really need the money.
The good news is that a Big Ten program will be limited in the number of Friday games it will play. The impact of those contests will be spread across the league.
Friday night college football isn’t new. It’s all across your cable each fall weekend. The Big Ten isn’t breaking any barriers here. It’s just the latest to prove business trumps all in college athletics. That’s not always bad. That’s not always good. It’s just a fact that was driven home again on Wednesday.
Who do you take?
Iowa offensive guard Ike Boettger was asked an interesting question by the media this week. Is there a best version of the Iowa offensive line?
“(It’s) the healthiest best five guys we can get out there,” Boettger said.
He wasn’t joking. It’s been that kind of year up front.
Iowa is coming off a bye week. This is as healthy as the Hawkeyes likely may be over the final month. Injured offensive tackle Boone Myers and tight end George Kittle — who is a key piece of the run blocking scheme — are expected to face No. 12 Penn State on Saturday.
But let’s get back to the original question. The best version of the offensive line is probably the one currently listed on the depth chart with Myers at left tackle, Boettger at left guard, James Daniels at center, Sean Welsh at right guard and Cole Croston at right tackle.
Finding his five
Iowa men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery is having a hard time selecting a starting lineup.
What may end up being a deciding factor? Three-point shooting. Yep. Take a look at this quote from McCaffery when asked if he’ll overlook some defensive deficiencies if a player shows he can consistently score.
“The three is the great equalizer,” McCaffery said. “Are you making threes? It’s one thing if you are making buckets, because threes change the game. Sometimes that will be a deciding factor if a guy gets in the lineup over another guy.”