Iowa gets set to meet Wisconsin on Saturday and Badgers’ coach Bret Bielema has been on both sides of this rivalry. Bielema played for the Hawkeyes and was also an assistant coach. This will be his fourth matchup with Iowa as the head coach at Wisconsin. Bielema says he has great respect for Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and learned a lot about defense from coordinator Norm Parker.
He says it will be a great Big Ten Conference matchup between a one loss and an undefeated team. Bielema says he really does not think about his ties to the Iowa program when he prepares for the game. He says the toughest part is after the game, as he says before the game you do see a lot of familiar faces. Bielema says he would not be where he is without the things he learned at Iowa. He says unfortunately someone has to win and someone has to lose and he’d rather be on the winning side.
Even without their star quarterback Baylor has hopes of playing in a bowl game this season and that makes this week’s visit to Iowa State a big game. The Bears are 3-2 after opening Big-12 play with a loss to Oklahoma and they will be without the services of standout quarterback Robert Griffin who underwent season ending knee surgery this week.
Baylor coach Art Briles says all the conference games are tough and you have to be ready to play. Briles has been impressed by the play of Cyclone quarterback Austen Arnaud. He says Arnaud is really playing within himself and giving the Cyclones the opportunities they need to be in games.
The Cyclones are 3-3.
The UNI Panthers hope a streak continues when they host Southern Illinois in a key Missouri Valley Football Conference matchup this weekend. Home field has been a huge advantage in this series in which the home team has won the last 12 games.
Saluki coach Dale Lennon says playing the UNI-Dome with a sell out and a lot of noise is a fun scenario to prepare for. Like past years there is plenty on the line in this matchup. Lennon says the winner of the game sits pretty well for a conference championship and the playoffs. He says you add in the fact that both teams are ranked and that adds into the excitement.
Lennon says the Salukis hope the home streak ends this weekend and he says they key to winning on the road is overcoming adversity. He says when you are on the road the adversity seems more challenging and the fans are a part of the game.
Both teams are 3-0 in the conference.