Back To Reality For Iowa As Hawkeyes Fall in AP Poll
Iowa Hawkeye football fans have been living a pretty charmed life so far this season. We've enjoyed big wins over ranked teams like Penn State and, at the time, Iowa State. They made Big Ten teams Maryland and Indiana look silly in lopsided victories. And, thanks to losses by Ohio State and Alabama, shot all the way to the #2 ranking in the nation. Then Purdue came to town, and the Boilermakers reminded fans to enjoy the view from the top because a fall can happen quickly.
Purdue came in a proved that if the Iowa defense didn't come up with multiple turnovers, the Iowa offense was in big trouble. The Boilermakers cruised to a 24-7 win at Kinnick Stadium. Iowa fell from #2 down to #11 in the latest Associated Press College Football Poll. In reality, it probably is where the Hawkeyes should have been ranked anyway. And even though Saturday's loss left a bad taste in every Hawkeye fan's mouth, it by no means spells the end of Iowa's Big Ten title hopes.
Iowa has a bye week coming up. It couldn't come at a better time. The Hawkeyes can get healthy, and hopefully, come up with some answers on why this Iowa offense just can't seem to get it going. The Hawkeyes have five games remaining, starting with a big road test on October 30th at Wisconsin. After that, it's at Northwestern, home games against Minnesota and Illinois, and then the Black Friday showdown at Nebraska. The Hawkeyes won't potentially play a ranked team until the Big Ten Championship game. And since Iowa plays in the clearly weaker West division, they still have the inside track to win the division.
As I walked out of the sports bar on Saturday following the Iowa loss, I wasn't really too upset. The Hawks got outplayed plain and simple. Plus, as the Cedar Rapids Gazette points out, Kirk Ferentz kept telling us that rankings don't matter until November. Being ranked #2 in the country was fun for a bit. But an outright Big Ten Championship would mean a lot more. LET'S GO HAWKS!