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Iowa #10 in First Coaches Poll

August 6, 2010

Written by Jon Miller

Hawkeye Nation

The first USAToday Coaches Poll is out and Iowa checks in at #10

I don’t have the data in front of me and will try to get an answer later today, but I would imagine Iowa has been a preseason Top 10 in the coaches poll five or fewer times in its history.

My radio partner Steve Deace maintains that if it were Ohio State, Michigan or Penn State with the returning players that Iowa has this year, they’d be a preseason top 5 team and being talked about in the national title hunt.

While that is probably accurate, I am not too bothered by it.  I mean they’re 10th, and that’s pretty deep waters.  To play for the national title, you typicall have to go unbeaten.  If Iowa does that this year, they will make the game since they are starting out so high.  Alabama is not going undefeated this year, and Ohio State is #2.  Florida and Texas are 3 & 4 and they will lose at least one game if not two.  Boise State and Virginia Tech are 5 & 6 and they play one another.  If VT beats Boise, I don’t think they go through the season unscathed.  TCU is #7 and they could run the table.  Oklahoma is 8 and Nebraska is nine, and neither of them will run the table because they could have to face one another in the Big 12 title game.

So this stuff will take care of itself and I am not going to waste any more time than I just did in trying to lay out Iowa’s national title path, because the margin of error for Iowa is always razor thin.

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Some people are worrying over Iowa being the hunted, or living up to expectations, something they did not do in 2005.

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That team had four brand new starters at defensive line; two sophs and two frosh.  This year’s team has arguably the best defensive line in the sport and a defense that will once again be top ten nationally, to go along with one of the best punters in the nation.  It needs to retool on the offensive line, but Kirk Ferentz seems pretty upbeat about that.

Not living up to expectations in 2005 had a lot more to do with the defensive line than it did with the players reading their press clippings, and that team was a bounce of the football or two away from being 9-2 in the regular season, after losing a double-digit fourth quarter lead at Northwestern and an overtime loss at home to Michigan.

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Embrace and enjoy, I say.

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