Monday, November 22, 2004

Big 10 Champion Hawkeyes 

As predicted on this site back in August, the Iowa Hawkeyes clinched their second Big 10 Football championship in three years, a title shared with Michigan who will advance to the Rose Bowl by virtue of their defeat of Iowa in Ann Arbor back in the first week of conference play. Most experts picked Iowa to finish behind Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan State.

Iowa secured it's 7-1 Big Ten record by defeating 9th ranked Wisconsin 30-7, and thus claiming the Heartland Trophy, a large bronze bull, which goes to the winner of the series beginning this year. The Hawkeyes again combined a stellar defense and strong kicking game with the remarkable playmaking ability of Sophomore QB Drew Tate to make up for the complete absence of a running game. As of now, Iowa is expected to play in the Capital One Bowl on January 1st against the runner-up in the Southeastern Conference (likely Georgia, Tennessee, or LSU).

Given the injuries and inexperience on this Hawkeye squad, this remarkable season represents an even more impressive feat for Captain Kirk Ferentz than his talented 2002 squad which came out of nowhere to win the conference and go 11-2 overall. To the chagrin of Iowans everywhere, Ferentz will once again be on everybody's short list for coaching vacancies in college and the NFL. Should he stay, the Hawkeyes look well positioned to succeed again next year.


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