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Schwartz: Ten Sentences – Just A Basic Iowa Team Edition

November 10, 2019

Written by David Schwartz

Hawkeye Nation

Ten sentences on Iowa’s 24-22 loss to the Badgers:

1. And so here we are again, where we have been so many times over the last two years, when the distance in the points scored between Iowa and their opponent is narrow and the Hawkeyes are on the losing end.

2. Their attempted fourth-quarter comeback Saturday afternoon against Wisconsin in Madison came out of nowhere – and is commendable – even if the result lacks remarkability.

3. Another close loss in another meaningful game.

4. Worse – or perhaps most frustrating – is that if you told a Hawkeye fan before the season started that through nine games they’d have three losses and you gave them a season schedule and asked them to circle which three games would be the losses, they’d most likely circle Michigan, Penn State, and Wisconsin (although it’s fair to say some might have gone with ISU).

5. Sure enough here we are, and it’s those three teams that have given Iowa its losses, just like mostly anyone could have guessed, which means any Big Ten team with more than half of a chance of beating the Hawkeyes has beaten the Hawkeyes – and you know what that makes the 2019 Hawkeye football team?

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6. Average, or slightly above.

7. Something has been off about this team the whole season, and maybe it’s something as remedial as inexperience at key positions like offensive line and linebacker, two units that have been so important to the success (or failure) of Kirk Ferentz teams throughout the last two decades, or maybe it’s something deeper, something we might not totally ever come to understand about this era, such as why multi-year starting quarterbacks under Ferentz have, like clockwork, regressed their senior seasons (C.J. Beathard is an exception), or the real value of the retired Reese Morgan, or … who knows.

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8. What rattles the brain of the Hawkeye fan is the sheer predictability of it all: beat Rutgers, beat Purdue, beat Northwestern, lose to Michigan, Penn State, and Wisconsin; there’s something about being average and not being able to do anything about it that shuts down whatever mental muscle it is that gives us hope.

9. Which brings us to next week’s home game against Minnesota, which is off to its best start in more than a century and appears to be playing with everything Iowa doesn’t have: confidence, swagger, and an installed game plan that makes sense.

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10. The Gophers look like they’re having fun, like they know they’re going to win, like they don’t have to be perfect just to keep it close, while the Hawkeyes, their shoulders hunched, their heads down, don’t just act excited during moments when things go well – they act surprised.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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