Three-point stance: Testing Iowa's competence

Posted by ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel

1.No. 4 Iowa, like coach Kirk Ferentz, is low-key and competent. The thing is, the Hawkeyes are competent at everything. Every other top-ranked team has a weakness. That competence will be tested Saturday against Indiana now that two starters, tailback Adam Robinson and guard Dace Richardson, are out until bowl time. “You wonder how many cracks in the dike you can handle,” Ferentz said. “But the players keep playing. They are doing a great job. They can compete.”

2.Seeing that East Carolina cruised past Memphis, 38-19, on Tuesday made me think about Skip Holtz. The Pirates are 6-3, one victory from clinching Holtz’s fourth straight winning season. Holtz has increased his win total every year (5, 7, 8, 9). That’s not bursting on the scene a la Urban Meyer at Utah or Kevin Sumlin at Houston. Does winning consistently still mean you move up the career ladder? Will Holtz be content to keep building at ECU?

3.So I’m watching "Modern Family" last night, and thinking about how brilliantly the writers pivoted against expectations by making Cameron, the oversized gay parent, into a former offensive lineman at Illinois. And then it hit me: In a season in which the Illini are 0-6 against FBS opponents, scoring 68 points in those games, it’s great to find an offensive player in orange and blue having a good season. Even if he does dress his infant daughter up like Diana Ross.