Depth Chart |
Every year, some preseason publication declares that it's the year
Kirk Ferentz's team will finally win an outright Big Ten title and
become the type of superpower that causes other teams to tremble.
Ohio State gets the blood boiling. The Michigan game always gets
circled on the calendar. Penn State, even during the down days, was
a big date that got everyone fired up. Iowa, even after four
straight January bowl appearances, just barely gets the blood
And why is that?
Maybe it's because the team is always out of the national
title hunt before the the leaves change colors.
Head coach: Kirk Ferentz
8th year: 49-36
11th year overall: 49-36
Returning Lettermen: 45
Lettermen Lost: 25
Best Iowa Players
1. QB Drew Tate, Sr.
2. RB Albert Young, Jr.
3. DE Ken Iwebema, Jr.
4. DE Bryan Mattison, Jr.
5. LB Edmond Miles, Sr.
6. TE Scott Chandler, Sr.
7. DT Mitch King, Soph.
8. G Mike Jones, Sr.
9. PK Kyle Schlicher, Sr.
10. FS Marcus Paschal, Sr.
2005 predicted wins
at Iowa State
at Ohio State L 31-6
at Purdue W 34-17
L 23-20 OT
Florida L 31-24
It hasn't been just that Iowa always loses
at least one early game to tumble out of the title race, it's that
national fans can cross off the Hawkeyes after crushing losses like the
23-3 gaffe to Iowa State last year and the 44-7 blasting by Arizona
State in 2004. Worse yet, Iowa has lost it's last three Big Ten openers.
On the plus side, Ferentz and his staff has the team humming as the
season goes on.
While it's always important to get off to a hot start, it's more
important to be good in November, and that's where Iowa has succeeded
going 9-2 over the last four ears in the most crucial of months. This
year's team has just enough holes to fill that it might continue to
follow the pattern and have a few problems early on before rocking and
The offense will have few problems moving the ball with Drew Tate back
to lead the attack for a third straight season and tailback Albert Young
a burgeoning superstar running behind a talented, veteran line. The
hole? The receiving corps. It's very fast and should be great by the end
of the year, but it'll need time to develop.
The defense has the same issues. The defensive line that was a concern
last season will be one of the Big Ten's best this year, but the
linebacking corps won't be nearly as good and will need a few games to
get rolling. The safeties are excellent, but the corners are green. All
the problems on both sides of the ball aren't that big a deal and will
all be fine; it's just going to take a few games. By that time, Iowa
could be out of the hunt yet again.
So Iowa isn't going to win the national title. Would another January
bowl game be so bad? With this schedule, it might be because ...
The Schedule: It's
almost all that any Big Ten team could reasonably ask for. It's
light enough for Iowa to get that time to jell playing Montana, at
Syracuse, Iowa State, and at Illinois before dealing with Ohio State
in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes catch a huge break not having to play
Penn State, and not facing Michigan State this season isn't a bad
thing. If you believe that the battle for the Floyd of Rosedale
trophy at Minnesota will be like an Iowa home game, then the only
road game on the slate to worry about is at Michigan. Win that, and
get by the Buckeyes at home, and an unbeaten season is very likely.
Offensive Player: Senior QB Drew Tate.
One of the Big Ten's toughest quarterbacks, Tate is also starting to
grow into one of the smartest with improved accuracy and
decision-making abilities. He might not always be the prettiest
quarterback, but he always seems to find a way to get the job done.
Defensive Player: Junior DE Ken Iwebema. He turned into a flash of
a pass rusher last year and should be even more dangerous this
season with the rest of the front four good enough to take the heat
off. Fine, so offenses will gameplan to stop Iwebema. That means
Bryan Mattison will make plays at the other end, or quick tackles
Matt Kroul and Mitch King will fly up the middle.
player to a successful season: Senior WR Calvin Davis. Herb
Grigsby should be a reliable target on one side, and Scott Chandler
will lead a strong group of tight ends, but it's Davis who has to
shine at split end and become the consistent deep threat who opens
things up for the rest of the offense.
season will be a success if ... Iowa wins 11 games and comes up
with at least a share of the Big Ten title. The Hawkeyes will be
favored in every conference game but two (at Michigan and home
against Ohio State). If this really is a Big Ten
championship-caliber team, it splits the the two nasty games and
beats everyone else.
game: Sept. 30 vs. Ohio State. It'll take an upset for Iowa to
lose at home to Purdue, Northwestern or Wisconsin and on the road
against Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota. A win in Kinnick Stadium
over the Buckeyes would likely mean it's a one game season (October
21st at Michigan) for the title.
The Last Time Iowa…
- First quarter scoring: Iowa 119 - Opponents 37
- Field goals in eight Big Ten games: Iowa 14 of 17 - Opponents 4 of
- Time of possession: Opponents 32:27 - Iowa 27:33
…played in a bowl game…2005 (Outback Bowl vs. Florida)
…missed a bowl game…2000
…pitched a shutout…2005 (Ball State)
…was shutout…2000 (Illinois)
…scored 50 points…2005 (Minnesota)
…won a conference title…2004 (share, Big Ten)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…1988 (Chuck Hartlieb)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2005 (Albert Young)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2000 (Kevin Kasper)
…had a first-round draft choice…2006 (LB Chad Greenway)