Yes, that’s not a typo…well, it’s a prediction by a Fox Sports Columnist, which you can read here
From the item: “Best Case 2010 Scenario: Clutch quarterback Ricky Stanzi emerges as a Heisman contender in his senior season, guiding the Hawkeyes offense to a flawless season with wins in Iowa City over Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Ohio State. After holding court in those four home games, the Hawkeyes earn the respect of the voters and qualify for their first BCS title game.”
They rank Iowa #4 in their pre-pre-preseason poll, behind Oregon (3), Ohio State (2) and Alabama (1).
Oregon returns 20 of 22 starters, Ohio State 16 and Iowa 14. The Hawks return all four up front on the defensive line and four of their back seven. Replacing Pat Angerer and A.J. Edds at linebacker will be tough to do, but Iowa is probably as deep at the linebacker position as they have been during the Ferentz era, and you might be able to say the same after next season, too.
The offensive line is the concern, as we have already talked about to some degree….but Iowa is going to go into next season with a target on it’s back and likely picked by the Big Ten media to finish 2nd behind Ohio State. The Buckeyes trip to Kinnick could shape up to be one of the biggest games in Kinnick Stadium history. IF…IF…and this is a huge IF….IF Iowa and Ohio State are undefeated going into that game, based on how I see next year’s schedule playing out for the other Top 6 contenders, you are looking at two 11-0 teams likely ranked #1 vs #2 or #1 vs #3. IF that happened (and I am not ready to say I think it will), are we looking at THE biggest game in Iowa history?
I think so. The 1985 #1 Iowa vs #2 Michigan game was played in the latter third of the month of October. There have been some big Iowa vs Notre Dame games in Kinnick in the past, but we are talking a long time ago, a time when most of the current Kinnick goers were not alive.
Wouldn’t that be something? Sure, it would. But it’s hard for me to mentally buy into Iowa getting to 11-0 next year, one year after a school best 9-0 start. As the best case scenario from the article suggests, Rick Stanzi would need to be playing at a level that would garner some Heisman attention. The defense should be Hesimanesque next year, but the offense? We just don’t know.
Oh by the way…in 2005, the Los Angeles Times picked Iowa to win the national title…the Hawks went 7-5 that year. They also had four first time starters on the defensive line (two freshmen in Mitch King and Matt Kroul and two soph’s in Bryan Mattison and Ken Iwebema) in front of Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge. Give me an experienced DL with fresh faced LB’s over the opposite any day of the week…