The mood among Iowa football fans isn’t the best right now, but there is still a chance for a special year for the Hawkeyes in 2019.
Name the best Iowa football season in the Kirk Ferentz era.
Is it the 2002 team? Is it the 2015 team? Is it the 2009 team? Those three teams are typically revered as some of the best seasons the Hawks have had since Kirk Ferentz has taken over the reins of the program, but if I had to give my opinion, there is one year that stands above the rest and it’s the 2009 team.
Simple. They won the second-most games in program history, and they won a big-time bowl, the only major bowl win of Kirk Ferentz’s head coaching career.
You wouldn’t believe it if you listened to the takes on twitter from Iowa football fans, but this scenario is still very much in play for the Hawks this season.
Through 8 games, they are 6-2, and if we’re being honest, they are two halfway decent guards away from being 8-0. Despite losing four underclassmen and many other starters from last season’s Outback Bowl-winning team, this is one of the most talented teams Kirk Ferentz has ever assembled.
And if they run the table over the final third of the season, they will finish 10-2 in the regular season, and they will likely be playing for the Big Ten Championship game. Win that, and they are in the Rose Bowl. Lose that, and they are likely in another New Years Six Bowl. If something bizarre happens, and the Hawks win out, but Minnesota manages to go 3-1 in their next 4 games, we could still see the Hawks in a New Years Six Bowl.
I’ll be honest, after the loss to Penn State, I didn’t think the Iowa football team stood a chance against Wisconsin in Madison, but after watching Illinois upset the Badgers, the possibility has become much more realistic. The Fighting Illini provided a blueprint for taking down the Badgers, and the Hawks have two weeks to prepare.
After that, they should be favored in every single game for the rest of the year with the only remaining game on the road being the season finale in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Buckle up, folks. There is a lot of football left, and the Hawks have a chance to do something special this year.