Iowa Has Their Highest September Ranking In 36 Years
The Iowa Hawkeye football team began the season two weeks ago with a modest ranking of 18th in the nation. Not many pigskin prognosticators thought Kirk Ferentz and these Hawkeyes would be where they are right now. The New Associated Press College Football poll has Iowa ranked #5 in the nation, the highest September ranking Iowa has had in 36 years.
The Hawkeyes are also now the highest ranked team in the Big Ten. You can thank Oregon for that, as the Ducks flew into Ohio State on Saturday and toppled the Buckeyes. But as the Cedar Rapids Gazette points out, this Hawkeye team has done plenty of things on their own this season. They are the only team in the nation to open up this season playing two ranked opponents. They beat then #17 Indiana and #9 Iowa State both by double digits. And that defensive masterpiece against the Cyclones was on national TV Saturday.
The crazy thing about this Iowa team is just how well they've played, despite the uneven performance from the offensive side of the ball. The Gazette points out that this Iowa team has so far averaged only 238 yards per game, good for 88th in the nation. They're averaging 3.8 yards per play. They are converting under 39% of their third downs. These are not great offensive numbers. But Indiana and Iowa State had very competent defensive units too.
What is encouraging is what Iowa is doing great. How about three interceptions against BOTH Indiana and Iowa State. How about defensive touchdowns scored in both games. How about a punter who can switch the field on you with one swift kick. Iowa's offense will come around. Sure, the defense and special teams might level off a bit, but more points will always help.
So how good are these Hawkeyes? Some tough games remain on the schedule and this Iowa team is no longer 'under the radar'. Top 5 in September for the first time since 1985. Cue up 'Back in Black'. It's going to be a fun ride.