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 Friday, Oct. 21.
Being proactive in deciding to defer
For years, Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz put his offense on the field when winning the coin toss. This year, the Hawkeyes are mixing things up. They’re starting to defer when winning the coin toss this season.
It appears that Iowa conducted a study on the coin toss and deferring was the best option. Let Ferentz explain.
“It’s just one of those things that we talked about out of season,” Ferentz said, “and it was one of the things on our list. Some younger, smarter guys on the staff and some guys maybe my age, too, that were smarter, also.
“Just having conversation, we thought it might be something that was worth giving it a try, too, and we were painfully close to aborting the mission here a couple weeks ago, but we’re staying with it, so we’ll see what happens this week.
The Hawkeyes came to the conclusion that those good with math have been saying for a while: Deferring gives a team the best shot at winning because they receive an extra possession in the second half. This Big Lead story explains the theory behind the process. So does this Sports Illustrated story.
The stories are a few years old so the exact figures will likely be different in 2016, but the theory is still the same.
Anything that changes around Iowa is chalked up to ‘New Kirk.’ Deferring isn’t new as much as a continuation of Iowa relying more on advanced stats to make its decisions. The best example of this is Iowa’s decision to start going for it more often on fourth-and-short situations, especially in or near the red zone the last couple of years.
Iowa officially got approval for its $89.9 million renovation to Kinnick Stadium from the Iowa Board of Regents on Thursday.
— The Iowa Hawkeyes (@TheIowaHawkeyes) October 20, 2016
The renovation of the north end zone should have something for just about everyone.
Those with some spare change can get the outdoor club seats. Those who like the view from higher up can sit in the second deck. Those concerned with getting to the bathroom will love the extra restrooms. Those that want to pace during a tight game will love the expanded concourses while seemingly anyone in the rest of the stadium will enjoy the new video board.
Joking aside, the artist renderings look impressive. Iowa fans will need to wait until 2019 to see what the finished product looks like. It will likely take less time for the Hawkeyes to start seeing an impact in recruiting. The Hawkeyes were likely already using the renovation on the recruiting trail. It would not be a surprise to see commits start mentioning it as a reason for their commitment before the calendar year is out.
Oh captain! My captain!
Former Iowa defensive lineman Mitch King is the honorary captain against No. 10 Wisconsin on Saturday (noon EST, ESPN).
— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) October 20, 2016
Iowa could use a defender or two to play like King had against Wisconsin. As a freshman, he earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors in a 20-19 win in 2005. King recorded six tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.
He would earn first-team freshman All-America honors in 2005. He would twice be recognized as an All-Big Ten defender. He was named the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year and an All-America as a senior.
Lots of Links
- Mike Hlas, of the Cedar Rapids Gazette, doles out fun facts about Iowa-Wisconsin.
- Land of 10’s Scott Dochterman and the Cedar Rapids Gazette’s Marc Morehouse discuss Iowa cornerback Desmond King playing offense in their latest podcast.
- Why is Iowa struggling to win games at Kinnick Stadium?
- Chad Leistikow, of the Des Moines Register, looks at what it will take for Iowa to win the Big Ten West division title.