To Health! And a regulated thyroid! Cheers!
The Hawkeye's All-American Candidate will be back in the starting line-up this weekend against Arkansas State. Arkansas State is the Arkansas equivilant of Iowa State. Except it's in Arkansas, so it's, you know, considerably worse. If you had told any Hawkeye fan that Bulaga would be out during the stretch of @ ISU, vs. Arizona, @ Penn State, they likely would have responded OMG WERE SCRWED FIRE KOK CAN NE1 BLOCK?
Per Kirk's press conference today, Bulaga had a thyroid condition. Like Kirk said, if it happened on some garbage day in February (paraphrasing, of course) this would almost be a non-issue (aside from Bryan getting healthy in the Winter, rather than now). However, as it stands, the great left tackle is back and will hopefully be paving defensive ends in the near future. It'll be very interesting to see how he plays the first week back.
The odd man out is the Philly Steak Pita Riley Reiff. For the last three weeks, Reiff has erased all thoughts about the Pita Pit streaking (though I'll never forget. EPIC) and manhandled players much older than him in seriously difficult environments. Although I expected there to be a gigantic drop-off after Bulaga went down, Reiff performed admirably considering the circumstances. The only way a gigantic drop-off doesn't happen when an All-American candidate goes down is when another one is awaiting in the wings. Although Reiff is the odd man out now, he's a damn good backup for a line that goes like this: Bulaga, Richardson, Eubanks, Vandervelde, Calloway. Iowa will win a lot of games this year based on the play of both lines.
Now that Bulaga has missed three games this season, it's entirely possible that he returns for his senior season. His draft stock probably hasn't taken that big of a hit, but perhaps a bit of one.
The offensive line now has even more depth with game experience: Reiff, Andy Kuempel, Josh Koeppel, Adam Gettis, and Dan Doering. It's like the free CinnaPie Papa John's throws in with their 2-topping large. Never, ever a bad thing. And always useful.
Adrian Clayborn is now a captain after his insane performances against Penn State and Arizona. He also got some beard time on the Big 10 Network.
Clayborn had the best quote on DT Karl Klug, "Karl Klug is an animal. Next game we're going to bring him in a cage." Let me just interject, while this is my own opinion, THAT WOULD BE SO FREAKING SWEET. Put caged Klug on the platform the cheerleading bro's carry Herky out on, then set him in the middle of the field and watch him bend steel.