Friday, October 13, 2006
But then a funny thing happened. Iowa pummeled the Purdue Boilermakers 47-17 moving the ball well and slowing down the leading offense in the Big Ten. The now 5-1 Hawkeyes, it turns out, may not be horrible after all.
Tomorrow Iowa travels to Bloomington to face a not so good Indiana Hoosier team, a game which should be all but over mid-way through the 3rd quarter. Barring an upset, Iowa will be 6-1 in a week when they travel to Ann Arbor to face a very good and currently undefeated Michigan team. At the moment, pundits are looking ahead to the Michigan-Ohio State game to determine which of these two teams plays in the national championship game, but Ferentz coached Hawkeye teams have tended to get stronger as the season goes on, so I think such talk is premature. Not that I'd do anything foolish like predict an Iowa victory or anything...
While Iowa gets, effectively, a bye week, Michigan has to travel to Happy Valley to meet Penn State. The Vegas line has Michigan only -6; that's a game in which Michigan could get upset and, even it that doesn't happen, they could leave town pretty beat up.
The other thing that's happening is that Iowa's offensive line, which began by being pathetic, is rapidly improving. They are learning to open holes for the RBs, who are first-rate, and a better pass rush will take a lot of pressure off the secondary, which could use the help.
The Hawkeyes play a very weak schedule, and but for that would be a 7-5 team. But with this schedule they have an excellent chance to go 9-3, and could even end up at 10-2. If that happens, they may very well end up in a bowl game against an excellent and battle-tested SEC opponent. So, Iowa had better continue to improve, or that could be the Bowl Game From Hell.
"The Hawkeyes play a very weak schedule, and but for that would be a 7-5 team."
You're trying to say that the Hawkeyes are bad. I guess we'll get another measuring stick next week. The conference is what the conference is, and Iowa gets both Michigan and Ohio State. If the Hawkeyes are better than most of their opponents, well they should win a lot of games. If they were worse, they'd lose more games.
I'm not worried about the SEC. Iowa has defeated strong SEC teams 2 of the past 3 years, and lost the third by a touchdown (their chance to tie taken from them by a terrible call on an onside kick).