Move over, Jim Harbaugh.
You, too, Mark Dantonio.
2016 Michigan? 2010 Michigan State?
2008 Penn State? 2004 Wisconsin?
2003 Michigan, and 2002 Michigan?
Clear some space.
You were huge.
Iowa 55, No. 6 Ohio State 24 was Godzilla.
Hawkeyes football coach Kirk Ferentz just reached into his bag of tricks and pulled off the biggest upset of his 19-year reign at Kinnick Stadium.
Iowa 55, Urban Meyer 24 will outlive us all.
Season highlights. Viral clips. Folk memory. Legend.
— Joel (@PuritanJoel) November 4, 2017
The Hawkeyes (6-3 overall, 3-3 Big Ten) didn’t just flip the script. They flipped an Meyer team on its head and stood hovering over it, looming like Cassius Clay, as it groaned on the canvas.
It was the most points the Hawkeyes have scored against Ohio State. Ever. It was the largest margin of victory ever for the program (a 26-point romp, 33-7 at Kinnick in 2004, held the old mark) over the Buckeyes.
And in the quest for context, consider this: The Hawkeyes woke up Saturday morning tapped as a 20.5-point underdog on the Caesars Palace sportsbook.
That’s at least a 51-point swing. Iowa didn’t just curb-stomp Ohio State’s College Football Playoff dream.
It crushed the Strip.
The former is going to get the most mileage on the highlight shows, especially with the Buckeyes (7-2, 5-1) having supposedly set themselves up as the hottest college team going after rallying from deficit after deficit against Penn State the weekend before, seemingly playing with pixie dust.
A pick-6 to open the game.
Stunned by a fake field goal late.
Urban, for once, on the wrong end of a swinging hammer.
If I had to choose between Iowa winning a New Years Bowl or beating Urban Meyer by 30, I would choose this.
— Jason Eslinger (@jdeslinger) November 4, 2017
After two weeks of football so close to the vest it was smothering, this was Iowa loose; Iowa free; Iowa with a wink, a knowing smirk, and nothing to lose.
This was Kirk Ferentz rolling the dice because he knew he’d have to, and Brian Ferentz rolling out a game plan that left Hawkeyes fans marveling at execution instead of expletives.
This was a defense punching the most talented roster in the Big Ten — and one of the most talented in the country — in the mouth (4 interceptions, 6 pass break-ups) from the jump.
This was Nathan Stanley (5 passing touchdowns, zero picks) growing up; a tight end (T.J. Hockenson’s 71 receiving yards) basking in the spotlight; and two young offensive tackles coming of age at the perfect time.
Cinderella wore black Saturday.
That’s not to say there wasn’t magic. Iowa’s first punt didn’t happen until there was 9:21 left in the first half; Ohio State didn’t punt until 6:41 before the break.
The favored Buckeyes lost Nick Bosa, their explosive sophomore pass rusher, when he was ejected for targeting with 3:12 left in the half. On the next play, Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley went deep to tight end Noah Fant over the top, outrunning Buckeyes cornerback Jordan Fuller up the right boundary for a 25-yard score on a perfectly placed rainbow.
The throw sent the speedy receiver into the tunnel after his score, such was the momentum.
On every front.
Barrett came into the weekend with 1 pick on the season. He went into halftime with 3, and the second — a leaping theft by Josh Jackson late in the second quarter — set up the Hawkeyes, already leading by a touchdown, at the Ohio State 22 with 1:29 left in the half. Three plays later, Stanley found Fant on a sprint-right option for a 3-yard touchdown and a 30-17 Hawkeyes lead with 30 seconds until halftime.
Iowa’s 31 points after two quarters were the most the Buckeyes had surrendered before halftime since Florida dropped 34 on Ohio State to open the 2006 BCS Championship Game.
“Two turnovers were costly and they are throwing the ball on us,” Urban Meyer told ESPN’s Todd McShay at halftime. “And we’re going to make some adjustments and get back to playing Ohio State football.”
After turning Week 10 upside down, the question now is whether the Hawkeyes can do the same for the West race, as Wisconsin (9-0, 6-0) cheerily steamrolls through its 2017 dance card. Iowa visits Madison next weekend, having won four of its last five visits to Camp Randall and two straight.
With three division games left over the next three weeks, there’s still time to shock the world. Although it’s going to be damn hard to bring more voltage to the party than the Hawkeyes did Saturday.