Opinion: My thoughts on the Iowa Hawkeyes’ quarterback room ranked No. 10 in the Big Ten

The Hawkeyes’ quarterback room has been the biggest question mark. Ranked No. 10 in the Big Ten, up is the only option entering 2022.

It’s been reported by every outlet, discussed by every fan, talked about by anyone who has a clue about Iowa football. The glaring question mark entering 2022 is the quarterback play and if it can take the next step. I think it is time to talk about that. And for the first time on this site, let my opinions come out.

I have yet to put out an opinion piece on here as I am extremely close with some current Hawkeyes on a very personal level. Texting, Facetiming, going to dinner and hanging out with them postgame type of close. Due to that, I stay black and white, give the facts, and talk ball. This is different. It’s time for an open discussion about the Iowa quarterback room.

Recently, 247Sports shared that Athlon Sports’ annual magazine named Iowa the 10th-best quarterback situation in the Big Ten, only ahead of Indiana, Illinois, Northwestern, and Rutgers. In my mind, it’s no question Iowa is in a better spot than those four. No real argument.

Here is 247Sports’ Mariah Guzman’s reaction regarding the Hawkeyes’ ranking:

Spencer Petras will be spending his fifth season with Iowa this fall, his third as a starter. Petras showed flashes of excellence in the first half of the 2021 season, allowing Iowa to start out strong with a six-game win streak. He struggled after the streak, compiling seven interceptions to just one touchdown the rest of the season, and Iowa went 2-4 the rest of the way. The Hawkeyes return multiple starters from the 2021 season, with Keagan Johnson and Nico Ragaini hoping to flourish in a more involved role at wide receiver. If Petras can perform like he did the first six weeks of 2021 compared to the final six weeks, Iowa could stun the Big 10. Petras threw for 1,880 yards, 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions in total, in 2021. – Guzman, 247Sports.

Let’s talk about a certain statement in there. The part that says “Iowa could stun the Big Ten” stands out. This year’s Big Ten West is wide open. Spencer Petras has been working nonstop this offseason, showcasing his arm strength at the Manning Passing Academy. He is all in for the Hawkeyes. I have even previously talked about why 2022 may be the best Petras yet.

I think Spencer Petras not only stuns Hawkeyes fans this fall. He stuns the Big Ten.

I think we see him surpass Wisconsin’s Graham Mertz who is inconsistent. Casey Thompson is stepping into a beyond hostile situation in his first season in Nebraska and any struggles will be magnified. Taulia Tagovailoa has the talent, but his inconsistency has proven to be a crutch.

Spencer Petras doesn’t have to win every game by himself for Iowa. He has a defense that returns some firepower and looks to pick up where they left off in 2021. He won’t need to score 35 points every week. Gavin Williams and Leshon Williams are a downhill duo in the backfield. Sam LaPorta, Keagan Johnson, Nico Ragaini, and Arland Bruce IV give Petras the necessary weapons in the passing game.

All of the noise is against Spencer Petras. The talk is how he has held this team back. Hawkeye fans have questioned him and called for replacements. The cards are stacked against him. And while all of this has gone on, there’s been nothing but hard work, bettering himself, and a consistent effort to do his part for this Hawkeyes team from Petras.

Never wavering against adversity. Not afraid to face the music. Ready to take everything head on and show his leadership. Give me that guy 10 out of 10 times. Spencer Petras takes the next step in 2022 and shows why Iowa is in a much better spot than the No. 10 best quarterback room in Big Ten.

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Former NFL safety on Lewis Cine: ‘He is an ultimate tone-setter’

Lewis Cine: The ultimate tone-setter

Every once in a while a defensive player comes along that is known as a ‘headhunter’. A player who takes pride in the physicality aspect of the game.

There is no question who that player has been for the last few season in Athens. Safety Lewis Cine, a Minnesota Vikings first-round pick this spring, was that player for Georgia.

At just 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, Cine always seemed to hit like a guy twice his size.

That’s why former NFL safety and current ESPN analyst Matt Bowen recently praised the No. 32 overall pick in April’s draft, calling Cine the “ultimate tone-setter” for a defense.

“From a coaching perspective, I want that guy. I want him in my secondary room because he is a tone-setter. He is an ultimate tone-setter,” Bowen said, when speaking with team reporter Tatum Everett.

A semifinalist for the 2021 Jim Thorpe Award, Cine finished the 2021 season as the Bulldogs’ leading tackler with 73 total stops and also had a team-high nine pass breakups and was named Defensive MVP of the CFP Championship Game.

“I just want to stack bodies,” Cine said back in May referring to his mindset when he takes the field.

Related: Lewis Cine says one team did him dirty during NFL draft

Bowen continued:

“When you turn on the tape and watch him play, there’s an urgency about him taped. And that is so important when it comes to secondary play. Are you urgent? Do you see it best? When you believe it, you go and make a play. He does that consistently.”

 

Odds to win the ACC in 2022, per Tipico Sportsbook

As the college football season approaches, it’s time to take a look at which teams have the best odds to win the ACC.

The start of the 2022 college football season is just under two months away, which means the time to place future bets on teams to win the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) is upon us.

For the first time since 2014, there was a new ACC champion in the Pittsburgh Panthers last season after Clemson was crowned the king of the conference for the previous six years. Last year was also the first time since 2014 that the Tigers didn’t win the Atlantic Division, as the Wake Forest Demon Deacons ultimately secured that accomplishment.

While Clemson failed to return to Charlotte, North Carolina, last season to compete for the ACC title, the head coach Dabo Swinney and the Tigers return a loaded group of talent in 2022 that gives them the fourth-best odds to win the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship this upcoming season.

Even with the fourth-best odds to win the CFP, winning the ACC won’t be an easy feat, and many teams will fight until the very end for the conference title.

With that being said, let’s look at each team’s odds of winning the 2022 ACC championship courtesy of Tipico Sportsbook. The teams are listed in Tipico’s order.

Which uncommitted players are likely coming to LSU?

LSU is having a great start to July on the trail, and the month could be about to get even better.

LSU has been red hot on the recruiting trail to start July.

This is a big-time of year for commitments. Players have wrapped up their visits for the summer and may want to have their recruitment concluded before their high school season begins in the fall.

Despite the recent wave of decisions, there are still plenty of big targets on the board. LSU has positioned itself well with quite a few. A few of these decisions could come in the next few weeks, with [autotag]Jalen Brown[/autotag] even poised to decide on Friday.

Let’s take a look at some of the guys you can expect to see put pen to paper for the Tigers when signing day rolls around.

Where Texas RB Bijan Robinson lands in latest 2023 NFL mock draft

Our colleagues over at Draft Wire have Robinson and Overshown selected by the same team.

It’s never too early to start looking ahead to the 2023 NFL draft. Continue reading “Where Texas RB Bijan Robinson lands in latest 2023 NFL mock draft”

Tyrese Haliburton reveals the wild, life-altering bet he made with high school coaches before getting college offers

A college Haliburton didn’t attend saved him from playing football.

Listed as 6-foot-5, Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton has the size of an NFL quarterback, or even a really tall wide receiver. Now established as one of the promising young talents in the NBA, we’ll never find out how good he could’ve been at football. But it was a path he nearly explored as a result of a bet that could have dramatically shifted the trajectory of his life.

Luckily for Haliburton, he won.

“My freshman or sophomore year of high school, I hadn’t got a Division I offer yet, I hadn’t got a scholarship offer yet. And everybody was just sweating me to play football, along with our football coach at the time,” Haliburton told For The Win in an interview about his partnership with Cheribundi. “So I made a bet with him that if I didn’t have a scholarship offer in the next two months that I would go play football — and I did not want to play football at all. I really didn’t know if I was going to get a scholarship offer, and then I got one.”

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That first offer, Haliburton said, was from IUPUI—a school located just down the road from his NBA team’s facilities. As we know now, he finished his high school career at Oshkosh North in Wisconsin as a three-star recruit with several more schools chasing him. He chose Iowa State, where he played two years before the Sacramento Kings drafted him 12th overall in 2020.

It’s probably safe to say that push for him to play football wouldn’t have existed if everyone could see what was in his future. Haliburton called it “maybe the most confident bet that I ever made.”

“So it just I guess shows the confidence that I had at the time that I’d get an offer, and then it actually ends up working out,” Haliburton said. “But man, if I had to play football – because I did it in front of the whole football team, whole basketball team. ‘Coach, if I don’t get an offer, I will play.’ – I did not want to do that. So I’m really glad that I didn’t have to do that.”

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Xavier Worthy, Isaiah Neyor land on 247Sports’ top WR duos for 2022

247Sports released their top 10 WR duo projections for 2022. Where did Worthy/Neyor land?

Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian completely revamped the wide receiver room this offseason. Continue reading “Xavier Worthy, Isaiah Neyor land on 247Sports’ top WR duos for 2022”

Nebraska renames several position groups

Changes have been made to the Nebraska roster!

A recent article* from the Omaha World-Herald discussed a recent change to the Nebraska Football roster. The Cornhusker staff has renamed several position groups on the team heading into 2022. Now moves like this are typically not uncommon among coaching staffs. Usually, when a new staff comes to town, it’s not surprising to see some position name changes. What is unusual is that the changes occur in the middle of a coach’s tenure but Scott Frost’s tenure has been anything but normal.

It’s remarkable to see how position naming has changed in the last 25+ years. Looking back at the Cornhuskers of 1995, you’ll see positions no longer listed on Nebraska or anyone else’s roster.

  • Running Backs were I-Backs
  • Wide Receivers were Wing Backs or Split Ends
  • Strong Safety was listed as a Rover Back

These evolutions occur for football teams over time, and it’s no surprise that Nebraska’s roster is undergoing more cosmetic changes. As far as I’m concerned you can call the positions whatever you want. Just perform on the field. Nothing else really matters.

Look below for the new roster position names.

Zach Calzada at the bottom in new SEC quarterback ranking

Where do you think Zach Calzada ranks among SEC quarterbacks?

There may be excitement among Auburn fans that [autotag]Zach Calzada[/autotag] will be able to upgrade Auburn’s passing attack, but that optimism is not shared by the USA TODAY Sports Network.

In their ranking of the 10 best SEC quarterbacks prior to the 2022 season, they ranked Calzada 10th. He beat out six other quarterbacks who received fewer than his 20 points. Here is what they said about Calzada:

A 56.3% passer last season, Calzada is already popular at Auburn after leading Texas A&M’s upset of Alabama last season.

Calzada, who transferred in from Texas A&M, threw for 2,185 yards, 17 touchdowns, and nine interceptions last season. His most memorable performance came against Alabama, he threw for three touchdowns to upset the No. 1 Crimson Tide.

He suffered an injury to his non-throwing shoulder during the season and that limited his availability during spring football. Now that he is healthy he is expected to win the starting job during fall camp.

Here is a look at the rankings.

  1. Bryce Young, Alabama, 160 points
  2. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee, 127 points
  3. Will Levis, Kentucky, 111 points
  4. Stetson Bennett, Georgia, 93 points
  5. KJ Jefferson, Arkansas, 88 points
  6. Spencer Rattler, South Carolina, 87 points
  7. Will Rogers, Mississippi State, 78 points
  8. Anthony Richardson, Florida, 51 points
  9. Jaxson Dart, Ole Miss, 35 points
  10. Zach Calzada, Auburn, 20 points

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Contact/Follow us @TheAuburnWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Auburn news, notes, and opinion. You can also follow JD on Twitter @jdmccarthy15.

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