The Bloomington, Indiana Herald-Times releases the Big Ten Power Ratings with no surprise at #1, but a big surprise pick for the cellar in the Big Ten Football race for '08.
1. Ohio State Buckeyes...
11. the Iowa Hawkeyes...
Ouch, the power rankings for the Big Ten conference football for '08.
The blog writer for The Herald-Times had the following to say... "11. Iowa Hawkeyes
From floods to a sexual assault investigation, this will be one difficult season for the Hawks. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and his players have had to deal with quite a bit in the off-season, and winning many games this year seems to be a near-impossible task."
Yes, the Hawkeyes have had off the field issues in 2007. But, the two players involved in the alleged sexual assault were removed from the team in the middle of the Big Ten season in '07. They are no longer at the University.
As Kirk Ferentz pointed out during the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon last week in Chicago, "we're confident that this will be a different year and we ask people to judge this roster on what they do basically starting in March. And this roster really took form. And I'm very confident this year will be different, but only time will tell, just like our results on the field.
The 2007 Hawkeyes finished 6-6 (4-4 in the Big Ten, tied for 5th with Penn State). Iowa returns 52 letterwinners (Ohio State is first with 53). Iowa played 31 freshman in '07. They will be young still, but experience does return lead by three key seniors who were in Chicago, OL Seth Olsen and two players on track to be four-year starters at DT, Mitch King and Matt Kroul.
The impact of the floods and tornadoes in the State of Iowa will likely help build team unity, not act as a distraction. None of the University of Iowa football facilities were impacted. The disasters have allowed members of the team and coaching staff to give back to the community from Parkersburg to Iowa City to New Orleans. Yes, prior to the floods and tornadoes, members of the team and staff went to New Orleans to give aid to those impacted by Katrina.
You may have noticed I offered my thoughts on Iowa on the Herald-Times blog...
• cidsports July 31st, 2008 at 8:48 pm Eastern Time
I see Iowa at 5-3 in ‘08, after a 4-4 campaign LY. Iowa was #12 nationally in scoring defense, despite having the weakest and near weakest offense in the Big Ten.
Iowa held the Illini to 6 points and the Hawkeyes have done very well defensively vs. Zook. Only team last year to keep the Illini out of the end zone.
Defense, ball control offense and a positive turnover margin should fuel Iowa’s top division finish in the Big Ten. OSU is in a league of their own in ‘08.