Chuck Hartlieb was sitting in on Tim Dwight's football camp in West Des Moines when, all of a sudden, I helped him turn back the clock 14 years.
That's when Hartlieb was playing for Iowa in a pass-happy time, and the Hawkeye football record book still reflects how brilliant he was.
More on that later.
First, let's switch to fast-forward and see how the former standout quarterback, who played under Hayden Fry, feels about the progress Kirk Ferentz has made as Iowa's coach.
"When Coach Ferentz was hired, people asked me what I thought,'' Hartlieb said. "I told them it didn't make much difference—they were going to be 3-8, 5-6, 2-9 or whatever in the first couple of years.
"It was year three when you wanted to see him turn the corner, and he really turned the corner last season.''
After going 1-10 and 3-9 in his first two seasons, Ferentz had a team that went 7-5 and beat Texas Tech, 19-16, in the Alamo Bowl last year.
"He's doing a heck of a good job,'' Hartlieb said. "Recruiting is coming along well. It was tough at the start because he had to get past that Coach Fry tradition. There were a lot of things that had to be changed not because they were wrong, but because Ferentz had to put his game plan in place. That takes time.
"Now he's feeling a lot more comfortable. I think he's going down the right track.''
Optimism is high for another good record in the upcoming season, with plenty of fans expecting another bowl appearance. Hartlieb thinks the Hawkeyes can be good, but pointed out that Ferentz will have a number of challenges because he lost a number of outstanding seniors.
"And the backup quarterback situation makes me nervous,'' he said. "I just hope Brad Banks can stay healthy. That will be critical.''
Banks, a fan favorite much of last season while playing behind Kyle McCann, buttoned down the starting job for 2002 with a strong showing in the spring.
"He's got mobility,'' Hartlieb said. "He's a different type of quarterback than the dropback type Iowa has had in the past, but it always comes down to third and 10. The defense is not going to let you get outside the pocket. You've got to be able to make a play against the nickel defense.''
By the way, Hartlieb has admiration for McCann, the quarterback who was criticized so often by Iowa fans.
"I gave him the Bud Flood Award at the Polk County ‘I' Club dinner this spring,'' Hartlieb said. "He's a great young man. I was always respectful of how he handled himself under adversity. Tears almost came to my eyes when he told me about the opportunity he has with the New York Jets.
"It sounds like everything is turning around for him. If you ask me, Kyle is going to be a New York Jet next season, and he deserves it.''
Hartlieb, 36, and his family have lived in Clive for eight years. He's a financial consultant with Salomon Smith Barney, Inc., and he said he's "loving life'' in the Des Moines area. He and his wife have children aged 9, 8, 5 and 3.
Hartlieb lettered in 1986, 1987 and 1988, but his final two seasons were his big ones.
An up-front guy all the way, he's not even hesitant to bring up his appearance in the 1987 Kickoff Classic at East Rutherford, N.J. He talked about a play that certainly doesn't belong in any Hawkeye highlight films.
"I was the guy who made the worst play in Iowa football history—in the 1980s at least,'' he said. "I was the quarterback, running the option, when a Tennessee guy wound up with the ball and took it the other way 96 yards for a touchdown.''
That turned out to be a key play in Tennessee's 23-22 victory. But there were much better days ahead for Hartlieb.
He owns the school record for pass attempts in a season with 460 in 1988. Hartlieb also holds records for completions in a game (44 against Indiana in 1988), completions in a season (288 in 1988), passing yards in a game (588 vs. Indiana in 1988) and touchdowns in a game (seven against Northwestern in 1987).
There's more. Much more.
Hartlieb ranks first and second in Iowa passing yardage in a game with the 588 against Indiana in 1988 and 471 against Northwestern in 1987. His 516 yards of total offense against Indiana in 1988 is also a school record.
Hartlieb ranks first (3,738 in 1988) and third (3,092 in 1987) in passing yards in a season, and first (3,530 in 1988) and third (2,933 in 1987) in total offense in a season. He's second in career passing yardage (6,934) and third in career passing touchdowns (37).
His 60 pass attempts in a game against Indiana in 1988 was tied by Scott Mullen against the Hoosiers in 1999.
Plenty of Early-Season TV Games for ISU, Iowa
One thing about Iowa and Iowa State. They won't go unnoticed on TV this fall.
They'll be all over the screen early in the season. And look for many more games on the tube after that, when the networks do the rest of their scheduling.
It all starts with the 7:30 p.m. Fox Sports Net telecast of the Iowa State-Florida State game in the Aug. 24 Eddie Robinson Classic at Kansas City.
On Aug. 31, Iowa State's 11:30 a.m. Big 12 Conference opener against Kansas at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames will also be televised by Fox Sports Net. On that same day, Iowa opens its season at 11 a.m. against Akron in a game that will be televised by ESPN-Plus and be shown on a statewide network.
Iowa's Sept. 7 game at Miami of Ohio starts at 11 a.m. and will be shown to a statewide network by ESPN-Plus. Then the Sept. 14 Iowa-Iowa State game in Iowa City, which starts at 5 p.m., will be shown on ESPN2.
Iowa's Sept. 21 game against Utah State, which starts at 2:30 p.m., will be televised by ESPN-Plus and be shown on a statewide network. Iowa officials say there's a chance that all 12 of the Hawkeyes' games could be on TV.
Iowa State's Sept. 28 game against Nebraska in Ames is expected to be televised by ABC, with a starting time of 2:30 p.m. Athletic department spokesman Tom Kroeschell said Thursday he's 99.9 percent certain the game will be televised by ABC, but he hasn't yet been given the word officially by the network. "But I think it's going to happen,'' Kroeschell said.
Shane Power: A Basketball Mystery Man
When it comes to Shane Power, expect the unexpected. He remains the mystery man of collegiate basketball.
Power, the only player to start all 31 of Iowa State's games last season, surprised lots of people in late-April when he made the decision to leave Coach Larry Eustachy's program.
Most of us thought he was happy as a Cyclone. But who knows what goes through the minds of twenty-somethings these days? When the 6-5 player from Crown Point, Ind., made his shocking decision to leave Iowa State, people figured he wanted to spend the remainder of his collegiate career closer to home. Maybe Notre Dame. Maybe Purdue. Maybe Indiana.
So what does he do? He transfers to [I'm clearing my throat now] Mississippi State. The last time I checked the map, Starkville, Miss., was not exactly across the street from Crown Point, Ind.
Power said the Southeastern Conference school was the best fit for him. [Don't they always say that?] A better fit, I guess, than Notre Dame, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Virginia and Pittsburgh; other schools rumored to be on his shopping list. Purdue and Indiana were never in the picture.
Heck, some people thought Power would transfer to Wisconsin because his girlfriend is a basketball player there. Forget that.
It was rumored that some members of his family hoped he'd pick Notre Dame because it's close to Crown Point.
Forget that one, too. Starkville, Miss., is where he's headed.
Starkville, Miss., is where he'll have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2002-2003 season under NCAA transfer rules.
Power said he will be given a basketball scholarship at Mississippi State. Don't assume the other schools he considered had a scholarship available, or offered him one.
Ironically, Eustachy knows all about Starkville, Miss. He was an assistant coach at Mississippi State from 1981-86.
It remains to be seen if Larry and Shane get together anytime soon to discuss the restaurants, gas stations and other highlights of beautiful downtown Starkville.
Neither Power nor Eustachy has shed any light on why Power made his sudden departure from Iowa State. It's like they've taken an oath in blood to not give the reason [or reasons].
Power might as well buy a T-shirt with the words "No Comment'' printed on the front. That way, he won't have to say the words so often to those who ask him for the lowdown on why he left Ames.
Hey, maybe Power and Eustachy have worked out a deal to co-author a future book for the Starkville Chamber of Commerce, detailing the tourism opportunities there. By the time Power gets his degree, he'll be able to add an update to what Eustachy remembers about the town. It might be good reading.
All I know for sure now is that Mississippi State, a team that played in the NCAA tournament last season, is getting a pretty fair basketball player in Power. He averaged 13.6 points for Iowa State, led the team in steals and was second in assists.
I liked his competitiveness as a Cyclone. For my money, he'd still look better in an Iowa State uniform than a Mississippi State uniform.
Ronald Wesley Maly
Vol. 2, No. 32
June 13, 2002
[Ron Maly's e-mail address is email@example.com ]