Iowa Hawkeyes Football Could be Headed to Sports Purgatory [OPINION]
What is the future of Iowa's football program? A question many Hawkeye fans will begin to wonder, or have started to wonder about, after the past season. Will the offense perform better with Brian Ferentz stepping down as offensive coordinator? Has Kirk Ferentz lost touch with today's style of college football? Will Iowa ever be able to find an elite-level QB? Will the offense ever match the elite defense?
All of those questions lie ahead for the Iowa Hawkeyes football program. If Iowa's offense was even mediocre, it's annoying to think of how good this team could be, with the elite-level defense they've had the past several years. If the Hawkeye offense could have been, simply, average...we're talking about a team that likely ranks in the top 15 at the end of last season.
Iowa vs Top 25 Ranked Teams in 2023
This stat from last season is so bad...it's almost impressive. This can't all be on the offensive coordinator either. Kirk Ferentz is the head coach. It's his responsibility to help the other coaches and the players find ways to score and win football games. How is this even possible for a football team that won 10 games last year?
To be fair, had it not been for a horrendous "fair catch" call against the Gophers, this team would've won 11 games. How can a team with double-digit wins put up a stat like this?
Iowa lost to 3, top 25 ranked teams by a combined score of 92-0?! When you look back on the season schedule, Iowa lost to Penn State 31-0, Michigan 26-0, and Tennessee 35-0.
To make matters worse, in Iowa's last 7 games against top 25 opponents, they've been outscored 235-44. That scream's a program that is going nowhere.
Now, the Michigan Wolverines will play for a national championship and blew out plenty of teams this season. Penn State finished the season as the 10th-ranked team in the country, and teams lose all kinds of players in end-of-the-season bowl games.
Whether players transfer to different schools or don't play in the bowl game for fear of getting hurt before the NFL draft, plenty of college programs lose out on star players during bowl season. Just ask Florida State, the 4th ranked team in the country, who lost to Georgia 63-3 in their bowl game. They had 24 players opt out of playing in the Orange Bowl.
Maybe it's fair if you choose to take those 3 games with a grain of salt but I worry the Hawkeyes are headed toward the worst purgatory there is in sports. Mediocrity.
When you have a team that wins enough games, the program never makes big changes to a coaching staff or never takes a chance on a new hire because "hey, we won 10 games last year. We're close to being really good." This happens in the NFL and it happens in college football. The Hawkeyes are headed straight toward always being an okay football team. Always good enough to beat bad football teams, never good enough to beat the great ones.
Who knows. Maybe Brian stepping down and a new offensive coordinator can bring a spark to this Hawkeye team next season. It's just crazy to me to think this team was shut out 3 TIMES by teams ranked in the top 25. There wasn't 1 play that fooled the defense, one pass that connected deep, or one running play where the running back could get to the promised land?
It's hard to shut out a team in football. All it takes is one big play for a team to get into field goal range and put points on the board.
To have 3 games, where your offense did nothing, in today's style of college football...yikes.
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