Will Hawkeyes bounce back and make bowl?
Everyone associated with the Iowa football program would love to forget the 2012 season. It was a struggle all around, in pretty much every facet, as the Hawkeyes finished 4-8 and missed out on a bowl game for the first time since 2007. Can this year’s new-look team get back to the postseason? BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina offer their thoughts in this post.
Question: Will Iowa get back to a bowl after missing the postseason in 2012?
Tom: I don’t think so. The Hawkeyes are trending down. There’s no other way to put it. From 11-2 in 2009 to 8-5, 7-6 and 4-8 last season. In fact, the 4-8 mark in 2012 was Kirk Ferentz’s worst since a 3-9 record in 2000. A sure sign of trouble is when a coaching staff is shuffled. Well, Ferentz’s staff has been a turnstile the past two offseasons after being a bastion of stability since he took over in 1999. But, a head coach can only shuffle his staff so many times. On the field, the Hawkeyes’ offense is littered with questions. Who will catch the ball? Is there a quality quarterback in the house? Will coordinator Greg Davis’ offense work? On defense, the line is searching for difference makers. And special teams? They have been a sore spot in Iowa City for years. I’ll stop there. Add in an ever-improving Legends Division, and it’s not far-fetched to think Iowa could finish last.
Brent: I’d be shocked if Iowa is bowl eligible this year. It won four games last season and finished 2-6 in the Big Ten, tying Minnesota for the Legends Division basement. Most troubling, the offense was a mess in coordinator Greg Davis’ first season, scoring a Big Ten-worst 22 touchdowns, including seven through the air. And that was with veteran James Vandenberg – the same guy who threw 25 scores as a junior in 2011 – under center. This fall, the Hawkeyes are guaranteed to break in a quarterback with zero FBS experience. The receivers? There’s not much experience there, either. The line could be a strength, and RB Mark Weisman is a beast – assuming he can avoid AIRBHG. But, unlike Michigan State, another team with questions on offense, it’s not like Iowa has a stout defense to rely on. Perhaps most important, in terms of making a bowl, the Hawkeyes trade Indiana and Penn State for Big Ten favorite Ohio State (road) and three-time reigning champ Wisconsin (home) on this year’s schedule. From a talent and schedule perspective, it’s hard to envision Iowa reaching six wins.
View Iowa’s complete 2013 schedule:
|Sat.||Aug. 31||vs. 22 Northern Illinois||TBA|
|Sat.||Sep. 7||vs. Missouri State||TBA|
|Sat.||Sep. 14||at Iowa State||TBA|
|Sat.||Sep. 21||vs. Western Michigan||TBA|
|Sat.||Sep. 28||at Minnesota||TBA|
|Sat.||Oct. 5||vs. Michigan State||TBA|
|Sat.||Oct. 19||at 3 Ohio State||TBA|
|Sat.||Oct. 26||vs. 17 Northwestern||TBA|
|Sat.||Nov. 2||vs. Wisconsin||TBA|
|Sat.||Nov. 9||at Purdue||TBA|
|Sat.||Nov. 23||vs. 24 Michigan||TBA|
|Fri.||Nov. 29||at 25 Nebraska||TBA|