Sunday, August 8, 2010

Big Ten 2010-Iowa Hawkeyes

2009 Record: 11-2 (6-2)
Head Coach: Kirk Ferentz (81-55, 12th season...83-76 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Ken O'Keefe (12th season)
Defensive Coordinator: Norm Parker (12th season)
2009 Bowl Game: Orange Bowl, defeated Georgia Tech 24-14

Offense: Iowa has a strong group of returning skill players, but the real issue is how good the line will be. The line lost three incredible starters after last season, including AA OT Brian Bulaga. If three new starters (both tackles and a guard) can learn and get it together quickly, this can be one of the best Iowa offenses since Chuck Long and Ronnie Harmon roamed the sidelines and took the Hawkeyes to the Rose Bowl. Rick yStanzi is a solid QB, but he still makes too many errors (15 INTs last season). e needs to learn and grow, because there is nobody to push him right now. There is a three headed monster in the backfield, as Adam Robinson, Brandon Wegher, and Jewell Hampton all come back. Hampton missed last season with an ACL issue, but he is solid. Derrell Johnson-Kulianos and Marvin McNutt will be the top two receivers, and there is some depth with Colin Sandeman and Keenan Davis.

Defense: The line is a strength on D. Adrian Clayborn returns at DE after posting 11.5 sacks a season ago, while Broderick Binns, the other bookend, posted 6 sacks. The tackles are strong and durable as well. The LB corps is inexperienced, but Jeremiha Hunter was second on the team in tackles in 2009. The other two spots are up for grabs, but young Troy Johnson has big things expected of him. SS Tyler Sash joins Clayborn as pre-season AAs for 2010. Nash leads a solid secondary that held passers to a 49.6% completion rate last season.

Special Teams: Daniel Murphy returns to work after tying for the conference lead in FGs last season with 19. Ryan Donahue had 12 punts that went for 50 yards or more last season.

2010 Schedule

Wins: 9/4 Eastern Illinois, 9/11 Iowa State, 9/18 @ Arizona, 9/25 Ball State, 10/16 @ Michigan, 10/30 Michigan State, 11/6 @ Indiana, 11/13 @ Northwestern, 11/27 @ Minnesota

Toss Up Games: 10/2 Penn State, 10/23 Wisconsin

Losses: 11/20 Ohio State

The non-conference schedule is not challenging at all. Arizona will be the most difficult non-conference date on the slate. Iowa would have to beat both Penn State and Wisconsin, and hope that the Ohio State-Wisconsin winner is upset by someone else to have a shot at the championship, but stranger things have happened.

Outlook: No worse than a season ago. Iowa stands every chance of nabbing a BCS bid for themselves, but the key to that will be the Wisconsin game. Iowa does not have the skill of the favorites, as they don't really have an answer for a Terrelle Pryor or a John Clay and Scott Tolzien. I think Iowa will have a fine season, they jost don't stack up against the top 2 in the Big 10.

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