CHICAGO _ Former Iowa Quarterback Paul Burmeister attended the Big Ten kickoff event here on Tuesday. The Iowa City native has created a national name for himself as a TV personality with the popular NFL Network.
Burmeister said his channel will begin airing a college football show in late August. The half hour show will air four days a week and also will include former UCLA coach Terry Donahue, Mike Mayock and Charles Davis.
The show will focus on match-ups and the goings on in college football but also will spend quite a bit of time on NFL draft prospects, Burmeister said. It will begin the last week of August.
Burmeister is starting his fourth year with the NFL Network and said that his station still is trying to get into more households. It's trying to break into basic tiers of cable, something many of those companies have been unwilling to do.
It's very similar to situation with the new Big Ten Network negotiating with several of the major cable companies throughout the country, including Mediacom in Iowa. Burmeister said that he felt like the Big Ten and the cable providers will be locked in a long battle based on his experiences with his network.
RADAR DETECTOR: For the first time since 2003, the Hawkeyes were not predicted to finish among the Top 3 teams in the league in a poll of Big Ten media. Michigan was selected as the favorite, followed by Wisconsin and Ohio State.
"We‘ve probably done better traditionally when we‘re flying low," Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said. "That‘s probably where we‘re at. We‘re in the middle of the pack by most people making picks. At the end of the day it really doesn't matter. What is going to be important is how we prepare this next month and most importantly how we play when the season begins."
INJURIES, ACADEMICS: Ferentz said the team appeared to be in good shape academically and also the Hawkeyes have limited injuries from the summer.
It looks like Rob Bruggeman is a long shot to return this season. Ferentz said comeback by the conference slate would be "really optimistic." Redshirt freshman linebacker Jeff Tarpinian underwent offseason surgery and his return for the opening game is up in the air.
The coach said four or five guys have smaller injuries that he didn't expect to cause them to miss "significant time." Among those is LT Dace Richardson.
"I'm not sure if he'll be full speed when we open up, but we expect him to be shortly," Ferentz said.
WAITING GAME: Ferentz said a group of six or seven recruits have yet to be given the eligibility OK by the NCAA Clrearinghouse.
"We'll keep our fingers crossed," the coach said. "I'm not sure I understand that whole process. That's all I'm going to say there."
QUICK-HITTERS: For the first time since early in the Ferentz era, no player photos appeared on the front of the team's media guide. There also was no reference to the bowl game from the previous season on the cover for the first time since 2001...At this event last year, the Iowa players milled around the hotel joking with media members, but there was no sign of Albert Young…Ferentz now is the fourth longest tenured current Big Ten coach behind only Joe Paterno, Lloyd Carr and Joe Tiller.