At long last, we have reached something approaching a conclusion to Iowa Hawkeyes Week. Did you have a nice time?
Well, let’s ruin all that by checking up on how the Hawkeyes will finish in 2022.
Well, uh, there’s this:
I tend not to pay a TON of attention to other teams’ schedules until I make these dumb graphics, and I will admit I actually laughed out loud when I saw this, for two reasons:
- Ohio State and Michigan loooooooooool have fun, cornlards
- This is the first time Iowa will have left the state of Iowa for a road football game in the month of September since 2017, when they played Michigan State in Week 5 on September 30 (they lost, 17-10).
And even that last point was just an accident of “whoops, forgot to build in a bye!” It’s the first time Iowa will be on the road for a Week 4 game since traveling to Rutgers in 2016. Iowa has not left the state for a non-conference game since going to Pittsburgh in 2014 (they won), and they won’t anytime soon:
It’s not outside the realm of possibility to say their non-conference schedule goes hardest-to-easiest, as the FCS #2 Jackrabbits will be at a size and manpower deficit but love to bull up against their regional FBS counterparts (they beat Colorado State 42-23 in 2021, lost by a TD to Minnesota in 2019, and played a 59-41 scorcher with TCU in 2016). Iowa State, meanwhile, is 128th in returning production in 2022, and Nevada just had Hawkeyes alumnus Jay Norvell leave for in-conference Colorado State.
It gets modestly more interesting in the Big Ten, as Iowa starts with three of its first four on the road: at Rutgers, home to Michigan, then at Illinois and, after a bye, at Ohio State. There’s…uh…there’s something there, right?
1. Is Iowa the weakest non-conference scheduling team in the Big Ten?
2. How do the Hawkeyes finish in 2022? Show your work.
Kind of…: Probably. Ferentz grew up in the Pittsburgh area, so set games @Pittsburgh aside for a minute. Other than a couple of those, Iowa has left the Central time zone for a regular-season non-conference football game exactly THREE times in his 23 years as coach, and not since 2010. (And, as you noted, it’s not moving to four anytime soon). Iowa is, by miles, the biggest pile of chickenshit in the B1G in terms of non-conference scheduling.
This year, 8-4 (5-4) sounds about right. Maybe the Michigan game is a Kinnick night special, but I’ll still say losses to OSU and Michigan. They’ll go 2-2 in November. Maybe they actually beat Purdue (but lose to Minnesota and/or Nebraska). I’ll say they beat Purdue, lose to Wisconsin and Minnesota, but extend the winning streak against Nebraska.
BoilerUp89: I can’t bring myself to care about football non-conference scheduling. It doesn’t affect the rest of the conference to the extent that I care about it. Okay, maybe a chickenshit schedule makes it more difficult for OSU to make the playoffs, but that’s a good thing in my book. Now in basketball, Fran is a chickenshit scheduler and it pisses me off. Fran if you are reading this - honestly don’t know if you can read - you took over the program in 2010. You don’t need to schedule your non-conference basketball opponents like it’s year 1 of a rebuild.
8-4 (5-4) just sounds right for football. Losses to Michigan and OSU. And because Purdue took 2? 3? idk Iowa players this offseason I’ll assume Kirk gets the whole team ejected for targeting in the 1st half as he seeks retribution and Purdue beats Iowa. Again. I need one more loss… so let’s say Nebraska. By that point in the season Nebraska will have an actual head coach and we all know they are more talented than Iowa. It’s right there in the recruiting rankings that OSU fans keep talking about.
WSR: Of course Iowa has the weakest non-conference schedule. Demolishing cupcakes was key to getting contract extensions and claiming you’re a great coach in the late 90s and early 2000s, and that’s when Ferentz cut his teeth. That’s just doing a good job of taking care of yourself and your mental health. It’s exactly like why I’m about to start watching The Wire for the 700th time.
Schedule, huh? Let’s see. Lose to a Dakota, lose to wisconsin, lose to Michigan, lose to Ohio State. And…that’s probably about it unless Minnesota decides to get outside of our comfort zone? Because I’m not all about growth today, let’s just assume that doesn’t happen and go with 8-4.
misdreavus79: Not sure about weakest, but it’s certainly at the bottom. Of course, that’s a byproduct of scheduling Iowa State every year, which would force just about every Big Ten team to schedule similarly if they had a permanent OOC opponent on the schedule. As per the schedule itself, well,
- Will win: Nevada, South Dakota State, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Illinois, Minnesota
- Might win: Northwestern, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa State Cyclones
- Might lose: Michigan
- Will lose: Purdue, Ohio State Buckeyes
Minnesota is on the “will lose” category until they prove they can win. Likewise, Purdue is on the “will lose” category until Iowa proves they can beat the Boilers. The rest are pretty simple: Northwestern and Iowa always play weird games, who knows what Nebraska will be this year, and Wisconsin is at home.
That leaves you with Michigan as the potential “voodoo magic” game they end up winning, and there’s no way in hell they beat Ohio State, so Iowa could very well repeat for the West. But, because they suck and I don’t like them, let’s say they go 8-4.
MNW: I just want to say I love that this turned into “just find a creative path to 8-4” and all these writers understood the goddamn assignment.
Creighton [WAIT, WHO THE HELL]: If Iowa doesn’t have the weakest non-con scheduling, we certainly have the most boring. Kirk loves his week 1 cupcake that functions as a glorified scrimmage, and unless some major shakeups happen at both universities and the state government, the Iowa State series is never going away (ugh). That leaves 1 game with the potential to do something interesting or fun. A couple of painful trips to Pac10/12 schools early in Ferentz’s tenure pretty much killed that notion back when Ricky Stanzi’s anthem, Party in the USA, was climbing the charts…so now we mostly just get either Pitt or some mid G5 team.
I’m pretty pessimistic about Iowa football before week 1 most years. Call it a defense mechanism, or perhaps I just never believe the defense will be able to drag the team to respectability year in and year out. The fact is I could make a pretty sound argument for why we’ll lose to every team on that schedule, but they clearly shouldn’t lose to every team, so I’ll do my best to be realistic.
I’ll say we drop 1 of the first 4 (Rutgers could be a tough away game, or perhaps our number has finally come up with Iowa State). They’ll go 1-1 against Michigan and Illinois. I think Illinois is on the upswing, and Harbaugh will most likely have to play a night game at Kinnick, so do with that information what you will. Their other losses will be to Ohio State and wisconsin, so give me 8-4.
In the Big Ten in 2022, Iowa finishes...
This poll is closed
3-6 or worse
7-2 or better
Overall, in 2022, Iowa finishes...
This poll is closed
Worse than 8-4
Better than 8-4
Speaking of Iowa’s non-conference schedule: it’s not all hog shit in Iowa—there’s chicken shit, too!
(Look, when I’m down to one Potluck a week and it’s the end of the summer, you get gems like that.)
Iowa’s egg-laying farms briefly hit the news in April after the protester at the Minnesota Timberwolves playoff game ham-fistedly (egg-fistedly? come back to me) tried to call attention to how an egg-laying farm owned by Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor killed off 5 million birds in March due to an outbreak of the avian flu. (Read the Storm Lake Times’s account for the gruesome details.) And since Smithfield Foods sued and successfully struck down Iowa’s anti-corporate farming laws in 2003, the number of family farms has continued to dwindle while production–especially of hogs–in Iowa has gone up.
Lots of fun!
1. React to this however you want. Like those 5.3 million birds, I am just waiting for the ventilation to be turned off and that sweet, slow roasting to begin.
2. Which smell would you rather have to experience every day: hog confinement, or hog processing?
WSR: I am an escaped farm animal. I should not need to go back to my roots and think about shit like this. I just think it’s probably pretty good that they just suffocated the chickens instead of making some elementary school kid break the necks of a couple dozen birds. Just saying.
Pig confinement. All day every day. It’s bad, but it’s not stomach churning.
BoilerUp89: Look, I don’t think you need to say democratic socialist to describe people from over 100 years ago. They were just called socialists back then and came in all shapes, sizes, and political philosophies.
As for farming, I have very few thoughts. Like ancient Rome, we’ve left the period where the citizen farmer was the ideal member of society. Most farms are now owned by big patrician families that hoard all the resources and reap all the economic benefit of farming.
Kind of…: I grew up on a family farm. I had a HS classmate work in, what was at the time, a sizable chicken operation. It was measured in the thousands, not (five) millions.
It’s well over 100 years since Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle. Upon seeing that the primary consequence of his book was legislation regarding food safety rather than protecting workers, the avowed (democratic) socialist Sinclair was reputed to have said “I aimed at the country’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach.”
After all those 5 million plus chickens were suffocated (and I don’t mean to diminish that fact), they needed to be disposed of, workers spent days walking through the carcasses.
And then, since all the chickens were dead and there was no work to be done, they were let go.
If you want, take a look at Iowa’s 4th district. It used to be the 5th district, but Iowa lost a House seat after the 2010 reapportionment cycle. Go to Google maps and find Rembrandt, IA, (population 209) the town nearest this chicken operation. Maybe find Sibley, IA (population 2,599) while you’re at it. That’s where the extended family of Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Devin Nunes relocated the family dairy farm. That farm may have knowingly employed undocumented immigrants. Though please note the “may have” in the previous sentences. The Nunes’ can be litigious.
I’m not trying to cast aspersions at undocumented immigrants. Far from it. But it’s perhaps relevant that the member of the House who represented this district (the 5th until 2010, then the 4th) for 18 years, until 2020, was Steve King.
The Storm Lake Times account that @mnw linked was written by Tom Cullen. He’s the son of Art Cullen, the longtime editor/publisher of the Times. Art Cullen won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 2017. There’s lots of shady shit that goes down that doesn’t get attention because it doesn’t involve millions of chickens dying or the dealings of the families of influential members of Congress. The Cullens are a fantastic story. But local news is beyond struggling, especially in rural areas.
And stuff like this isn’t just happening in a single district in Iowa.
Creighton: There are few things that humans have invented that are quite as ghastly as factory farming. If I had to watch what happens to my food before it ends up on the grocery store shelf, I would 100% be a vegan. It’s only through the blinders of intentional dissociation that I am able to continue my disgusting email job diet full of breakfast burritos and ham sandwiches from one day to the next.
Having smelled both hog confinement and hog processing, I think hog confinement is definitely worse. You can smell a large scale hog barn from miles away if the wind is blowing right. Some farms will dump the pig shit from the barn in a ditch to let it compost, and it smells exactly as bad as it sounds. When you’re inside one the smell is so overwhelming your brain refuses to tune it out. If you’re in it too long it will stay on your clothes and skin for several showers and washes.
Wow, what a bummer note this potluck ended on. Well played, MNW. Go Hawks.