Hey, our Memorial Day rituals are just like yours: Barbecues, lawn games, family reunions … and snapping up every college football preview magazine we can get our grubby little mitts on. Land of 10’s Sean Keeler crashed his local Barnes & Noble newsstand over the weekend to pore over the latest takes on the 2017 season and peruse what the experts have to say about the Big Ten, continuing with the Iowa Hawkeyes …
WHAT THE MAGS SAY: IOWA HAWKEYES
Athlon (national edition)
Preseason rank: 44th
Predicted record: 7-5, 4-5 Big Ten
Predicted finish: Fourth in the West
Projected bowl: Foster Farms
Quote to note: From an opposing Big Ten assistant coach: “[Kirk] Ferentz wants to beat you up, make a single-possession lead feel a lot worse … They specialize in tough football players.” No word, though, as to whether that take stems from former Nebraska defensive coordinator Mark “Bloodbath” Banker.
They said what again? “There is hope that Brian Ferentz will install an offense that tries to attack more downfield compared to [former coordinator Greg] Davis’ preference to use shorter routes.” The Hawkeyes’ average Big Ten rank in yards per pass attempt under Davis from 2012-16: 8.0. Under predecessor Ken O’Keefe — now back on the staff as the younger Ferentz’s quarterbacks coach/co-conspirator — from 2007-11, it was 5.0.
Lindy’s (national edition)
Preseason rank: 35th
Predicted record: N/A
Predicted finish: Third in the West
Projected bowl: N/A
Quote to note: “QB is a muddy picture — and not in a positive sense, like where there’s too much talent to go around.”
They said what again? “Recruiting misses and lack of development has made wide receiver a sinkhole. Explosive plays through the air might be tough to generate.” Matt VandeBerg, Peter Pekar and Noah Fant, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you. Woo, woo, woo.
Street & Smith’s
Preseason rank: N/A (Not in Top 25)
Predicted record: N/A
Predicted finish: Second in the West
Projected bowl: Outback
Quote to note: “Iowa can’t take a nonconference schedule for granted that includes Wyoming, a road trip to Iowa State and North Texas, but it’s negotiable for a new quarterback. The key to Iowa’s undefeated regular season in 2015 was the springboard victory against Pittsburgh; the hitch in last year’s slow start was the loss to North Dakota State.” We’d throw that massive 2015 win at Madison in there, too, but it’s a hell of a point.
They said what again? So this is fun: The Hawkeyes are paired with 2015 Big Ten Championship Game dance partner Michigan State as a program “On The Wane.” The skinny: “Two years ago, these teams played for the Big Ten championship. They combined for an 11-14 record last season. It will be interesting to see what kind of adjustments Mark Dantonio and Kirk Ferentz make in response.”