OK, before I get to this week’s previews and predictions, here’s a few prospects to keep somewhere in your mind.
Ryan Tabb (Jr.) WR 6-2/171/4.5 Huron HS (Ann Arbor, Mich.): Just saw him play last week; his big brother, Carl Tabb, is a redshirt freshman receiver at the U of M. Is one of the better hurdlers in the state of Michigan and shows pretty good hands and concentration as a wide out. I would expect him to be a Big Ten recruit.
Noel Aleman FB 5-9/204/4.7 East Kentwood HS (Kentwood, Mich.): Helped East Kentwood roll over defending Div. 2 state runner-up Birmingham Brother Rice last Saturday at the Silverdome with two long touchdown runs (60, 62) in the first half of a 44-7 rout. Rushed for over 2,800 yards with 38 TDs last season, but is not being highly recruited.
Ashland Grady 6-1/215/4.55 Dowling (West Des Moines): Grady is probably the best prospect in the state of Iowa that no one ever talks about. The film I saw of him last year showed me that he could probably play fullback or be a power back in the Big Ten or Big 12.
If you live anywhere in or near the 319 area code, you owe it to yourself to check out the pass-catch combo of Cedar Rapids Washington’s Warren Suess 6-3/190/4.7 and Adrian Arrington 6-3/176/4.5 in person this season. You won’t be disappointed.
A dozen other Iowa high school players that I would pay to watch this fall (regardless of recruitability --) RB Jason Scales (WDM Valley), RB DeShaun Williams (Sioux City North), OLB Maurice Cantrell (CR Washington), QB/S Adam Carper (Clarinda), RB/OLB Greg Coleman (IC West), RB London Hayes DM East, C/DT Rob Bruggeman (CR Washington), RB Nick Bender (Madrid), RB Jeff Struecker (Sentral-Fenton *8-man), RB-LB Dan Lensing (Turkey Valley), LB-FB Matt Kroul Mount Vernon and PK Jared Parker (Ankeny). I could name at least five dozen more … but maybe next time.
Circle your calendar for these can’t-miss games -- at least one each week -- around the state this season:
9/5: Aplington-Parkersburg at Dike-New Hartford
9/5: Mount Vernon at Solon
9/5: Manning at Treynor
9/5: DM East at Ottumwa
9/5: Eddyville-Blakesburg at Pleasantville
9/12: Atlantic at Clarinda
9/12: SC Heelan at Dowling
9/19: Denver at Turkey Valley
9/19:Dowling at Valley
9/19: Madrid at Martensdale-St. Mary
9/26: Sentral-Fenton at Sioux Central
9/26: Sioux City North at Newton
10/3: Davenport Assumption at Bettendorf
10/3: CR Washington at Cedar Falls
10/3: IC West at IC City
10/10: Dowling at Ankeny
10/10: CB St. Albert at Underwood
10/17: Elgin Valley at Fredericksburg
10/24: Montezuma at Packwood Pekin
10/31: Atlantic at Harlan
My preseason Iowa high school state championship predictions:
4A: WDM Valley over CR Washington
3A: Harlan over Western Dubuque
2A: Aplington-Parkersburg over Clarinda
1A: Turkey Valley over Galva-Holstein
A: Madrid over Treynor
8-man: Sentral-Fenton over Sioux Central
This week’s game:
Sept. 6 vs. Buffalo: You know, the Buffalo Bulls (clever nickname) aren’t really the worst team in Division I-A football. They just aren’t. We all know that distinction belongs to Iowa State -– kidding!! Everyone seems to be begging, wanting and asking for Kirk Ferentz to hand the “real” keys to the offense (you know, the one with passing plays in it) to Nathan Chandler this week. But why in the world would he do that? Why show your playbook to Iowa State when you can probably beat Buffalo silly using your third-stringers? You wouldn’t, of course. Instead, Iowa will methodically throttle the young Bulls with somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 to 60 carries for the game, which should net approximately 365 yards on the ground. Chandler will throw to Mo and the boys just enough to keep the rust off -- and not a single toss more.
The 3-point Breakdown
Quarterbacks edge:Iowa +2
Running backs edge: Iowa +1
Receivers edge: Iowa +3
Offensive line edge: Iowa +2
Defensive line edge: Iowa +3
Linebackers edge: Iowa +2
Secondary edge: Iowa +2
Kicking game edge: Iowa +2
Coaching edge: Iowa +3
Intangibles edge: Iowa +2
The prediction: Iowa 52, Buffalo 10
This week’s Art Schlichter/Stu Feiner ATS Picks
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Boston College +10 at Penn State: BC +10
Bowling Green +10.5 at Purdue: Purdue –10.5
LOCK OF THE WEEK: Akron +25.5 at Wisconsin: Wisconsin –25.5
Washington State +6 at Notre Dame: ND –6
Florida +14.5 at Miami: Florida +14.5
Last week: 2-3
Season: 2-3, 0% LOCK OF THE WEEK