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2017 Preview and Predictions: Iowa Hawkeye Football

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Just how average will Iowa be?

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

I. Case History/Opening Statement

A. Case History

2016 was a roller coaster ride. A high-flying blowout victory over rival Iowa State was quickly followed by a stale performance in a loss against North Dakota State. Following a heartbreaking loss against Wisconsin, Iowa went into Happy Valley only to get punched in the face and take their worst loss of the year.

That was the season’s turning point, and they had 3 straight wins to finish the year. The Hawkeyes put up their best defensive performance of the year in an exciting victory over #2 ranked Michigan, ending the game with a walk off field goal from Keith Duncan’s foot. I can say without a hint of irony that punter Ron Coluzzi was the most important player for Iowa in this game.

After shutting out Illinois, Iowa finished the season with their best, most complete game when they knuckle-fucked Nebraska 40-10 (!) on Black Friday. They finished the regular season one 21-point Badger quarter away from sharing the Big Ten West title.

Naturally, the team forgot to show up for the Outback Bowl against Florida and the Hawkeyes once again ended the year on a sour note.

B. Opening Statement

Who’s got 7-6? On paper we might be looking at yet another 7-6 year for Iowa, but there are some wild cards that could make that number go up or down.

The “retirement” of offensive coordinator Greg Davis is undoubtedly an example of addition by subtraction. Without getting into details yet again...he was a bad fit. The question is, how many wins is getting rid of Davis worth? 2 wins? 3 wins? 1?

Conversely, how steep will Brian Ferentz’ learning curve. He’s never run an offense before, and he’s working with a first year starter at quarterback. His run game should be great, with one of the best OL/backfield combinations in the country. Will he and QB coach, Ken O’Keefe, be able to put together a viable passing attack with Matt Vandeberg and an army of tight ends? Brian will be learning how to call plays and coach his players from the press box. Long term I think Brian will be a vast improvement and a great fit for the program, but this year his inexperience may cost Iowa a game or two. II. Discovery

II. Discovery

A: What We’ve Written About Iowa in the Offseason

Iowa 2017 Cocktail Party

How is the Iowa Hawkeye offense going to score?

Brian Ferentz has got to be better than Greg Davis

How’s the Iowa Defense in 2017?

A Traveler’s Guide to Hawktown

B. What Can We Learn From Pop Culture

Probably nothing. This is Iowa, after all.

You’re still expecting something? Well, shit.

Uh...A conservative offense with a great ground game?

Sure, why not.

III. Closing Statement

Seems like everyone is assuming mediocrity, because, well, it’s Iowa. And honestly I can’t really blame them. New QB, new OC, lost a lot in the secondary, no WRs, and the pass blocking has been suspect the last couple of years. However, Iowa has often had the best record with a new QB (2015, 2009, 2004, 2003, 2002 all had a different starting QB than the start of the previous year). The new OC HAS to be a positive. Iowa’s secondary is pretty much always good, Phil Parker is one of the best coaches in the country. Who needs WRs when you have an army of TEs? The run blocking for this OL unit may be the best in the country, and they have the best 1-2 RBs in the conference with Akrum Wadley and James Butler. Also, this is going to be one of the best front 7 defensive units that Iowa has had in quite a while (probably since 2009). This team will stop the run, and run the ball.

IV. Schedule of Events

V. Record Predictions

PSU fans, why the disrespekt?

Almost everyone has them begged somewhere between 6-6 and 8-4. About what people would expect with a new QB, no passing game, and breaking in a new offense.

Iowa Verdict: 7-5 (5-4)

Poll

But don’t take our word for it. In 2017 Iowa will go...

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    12-0
    (32 votes)
  • 1%
    11-1
    (12 votes)
  • 9%
    10-2
    (59 votes)
  • 23%
    9-3
    (150 votes)
  • 26%
    8-4
    (166 votes)
  • 17%
    7-5
    (112 votes)
  • 7%
    6-6
    (50 votes)
  • 3%
    5-7
    (22 votes)
  • 4%
    4-8 or worse
    (29 votes)
632 votes total Vote Now