Date: Wed, 6 Aug 1997 12:12:00 -0600
From: Tom Kirkendall 
Subject: HERKY: Dark Ages

Longtime Herkster Matt Gavin from Austin, Texas requested that I repost one
of my old Herky posts from after the Ohio State game the season before last.
For the many newer Herksters, here it is and remember: Each night, say a
prayer of thanks Hayden Fry came to Iowa.  

Traumatized by the first half of the recent Ohio State game, Gary Ramseyer inquired in a recent post whether there were any worse halfs during the pre-Hayden dark years of the 1960's and 70's. I do not have scoring breakdowns by quarter on the following scores, but these games nevertheless stick out in my mind as involving more bad football than anything I've ever seen during Hayden's career:


1. The 1967 Notre Dame game--ND 56 Iowa 6. Terry Hanratty and the other Golden Domers barely noticed as the Hawks passed through.


2. Ray Nagel's 1966 Michigan State debacle--MSU 56 Iowa 7. Nagel's opening line in his weekly film show remains firmly engrained on my mind--"[insert opponent] is a very physical football team." Hell, Iowa could have been playing Rose Poly Institute, and Nagel would have said this line to open his show. Bubba Smith, George Webster and the rest of that famous MSU crew nearly dismembered this Iowa team.


3. The 1969-71 Michigan trifecta. This three years of trauma against Michigan is the penultimate in Hawkeye football futility. In 1969, Nagel's second to last team got blown out 51-6 in the game in which I recalled earlier that UM didn't even bother to throw more than a half dozen passes as Billy Taylor thundered back and forth between the Iowa Stadium end zones. The following year (1970), UM butchered Nagel's last Iowa team 55-0 in Ann Arbor.

The 1971 game is the one I'll always remember, though. That was Lauterbur's first year and he and his staff were pompous as hell. My friend Dan McCarney and I had graduated from high school in the spring of 1971 after being teammates on a Mississippi Valley Conference championship City High football team. Although I had been a pretty decent player on that team, Mac was a much better major college prospect than me. But since Mac and I were friends, Lauterbur and his staff would include me in their recruiting sessions with Mac hoping that, in my overwhelming desire to don the Black and Gold, I would persuade Mac to go to Iowa. Lauterbur and his assistants told me that "they would allow me" to walk on and, if I worked very hard, maybe they would grant me a scholarship in a year or two. I think this is when I decided that college football was not the way to go.

At any rate, one night at Mac's folks' house in Iowa City, Lauterbur and a couple of his henchmen were putting the hard sell on Mac and his folks. "Danny," said Lauterbur, exuding confidence, "I'll assure you of one thing. If you come to Iowa--no Iowa team that I coach will EVER get beat 55 to nothin' by Michigan."

He was right. In Lauterbur's first season, Michigan annihilated the Hawks 63-7.


4. The 1973 Lauterbur encore. In Lauterbur's third and (thankfully) final year, he threw an unprecedented 0-11 record at Hawkeye fans, including a 55-18 blowout to UCLA, a 50-0 excrutiating thumping to Illinois, and a 55-13 bludgeoning at Ohio State. Lauterbur used the Ohio State game to establish that a Woody Hayes coached team could indeed score 55 points running the belly series the entire game.


5. The Commings disaster. I'm a little fuzzier on the Commings era because I had moved way from Iowa by that time, but Mac (who was a grad assistant at the time) tells me that Iowa put on a particularly disastrous performance in LA in 1976 in getting stomped by USC, 55-0. This debacle was compounded by the fact that, the week before, the Hawks had upset Penn State 7-6 and Iowa's long-suffering fans had began to think that the program had finally turned the corner. Although Commings coached another two years after the USC blowout, Mac contends that the Iowa fans never forgave him for getting their hopes up and then crushed within the span of a week.

There you have it. See, the Ohio State game wasn't all that bad, after all.

Many years later...

BigT sent this note to the list, about the 1953 Iowa-Notre Dame game...
From: Tom Kirkendall 
Subject: Re: HERKY: looking for a little historical herky help..
Date: Tuesday, December 10, 2002, 3:10 PM
Jeff, the following is from the Herky Archives:
1953 Iowa-Notre Dame game

The following is a post about the beginning of the Iowa-Notre Dame rivalry that I originally posted to Herky several years ago (has it really been that long?):

In 1953 (the year I was born, BTW), Forest Evashevski was in his second year at Iowa. Coming off a 2-7 first season, Evy was starting to turn the program around. That was the year that he brought in the famed "Steubenville Trio," Eddie Vincent, Calvin Jones, and Frank Gilliam. The 1953 team started slowly, losing to MSU in the opener and losing a heartbreaker to Michigan in the third game, 14-13. But Evy's program was starting to percolate.

By the final game of the season at Notre Dame, Iowa was 5-3, including two straight decisive shutout wins against Purdue and Minnesota. Meanwhile, Notre Dame's 1953 team was one of its best. By the time of the Iowa game, it had won seven straight, and had not even been seriously challenged. Prior to the Iowa game, the Golden Domers had been voted number one in the wire service polls by the most lopsided vote in the history of the polls at that time.

Nevertheless, the Hawks went into South Bend and played Notre Dame off their feet. Behind 7-0 in the final two minutes of the first half, Notre Dame found itself driving but without any timeouts. Inasmuch as college rules at that time did not provide that the clock stopped on first downs, "spiking", etc., Notre Dame did not have enough time to get its last play off before the half. Then, on the last two plays of the first half, Notre Dame players faked injuries, and the officials called "official" timeouts to allow the injured players to get off the field. The additionaltimeouts allowed Notre Dame enough time to throw a touchdown pass at end of the first half to tie the score.

But in the second half, the Hawks continued to dominate the top ranked team in the nation on their home turf. With 2 minutes to go, the Hawks were up 14-7. Notre Dame had the ball, but again had no time outs and no way to stop the clock. In the final two minutes, Notre Dame moved 60 yards in eight plays, and after each play, one or more Notre Dame players faked an injury to stop the cloak. Given the extra time from the fake injuries, Notre Dame was able to buy enough time to score the tying touchdown on the final play of the game. The game ended in a 14-14 tie.

Notre Dame's desperation "fainting" tactics to tie Iowa generated a firestorm of controversy throughout college football at the time. Grantland Rice, the legendary sportswriter, speaking at the New York Football Writers luncheon the Monday after the game, stated as follows: "I consider it a complete violation of the spirit and ethics of football and was sorry to see Notre Dame, of all teams, using this method. Why, in heaven's name, was it allowed?"

Evy, bemused by Rice's statement, issued his own statement in verse:

"When the One Great Scorer comes
To write against our name,
He won't ask that we won or lost,
But how we got gypped at Notre Dame!"

This incredible game was a watershed for Iowa's football program. The 1953 team ended up 5-3-1, and was ranked ninth in the final wire service polls. Except for the 1939 Ironmen team, this was the best Hawkeye football team since Iowa's first Big 10 champion teams of the early 1920's. Three years later at the end of the 1956 season, the Hawks were 9-1 and had one of the top college football programs in the country.

The 1953 Notre Dame game also convinced Iowans of what they had in Evy. At the end of that season, UI tore up his contract and gave him a 10 year contract, almost unheard of in those days. Inasmuch as the Iowa-Notre Dame series petered out in the mid-1960's, I doubt whether the Golden Domers are still really one of Iowa's most hated opponents. But if this thread had been started at the end of the 1953 season, then no doubt that the Irish would have been at the top of the list.

Best regards,
Tom Kirkendall

  ----- Original Message ----- 
>   To: herky list
>   Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2002 3:45 PM
>   Subject: HERKY: looking for a little historical herky help...
>   Hey all, could someone out there with more years/wisdom than I update me 
>   as to what actually happened during the Eveshevski years between Iowa and
>   Notre Dame??  Didn't they actually fake numerous injuries to win a game 
>   against us??  Thanks in advance.
>   Jeff