Posted by: Nathan | October 2, 2006

A Big Loss

Of course those who know me already know that this post will discuss Iowa’s letdown against the number-one team in the land Ohio State last Saturday night in Iowa City. It’s absolutely no shame to lose to the Buckeyes any year, but this year especially they are an incredible team. I knew this going into the game, but I had hope. Justin gave Iowa a 20% chance of winning, and I think that was pretty accurate. To beat Ohio State anywhere, you have to score a decent amount of points, but most importantly, you MUST NOT turn the ball over and make other mistakes. Iowa unfortunately did both. Many times. Tate made many bad decisions with his passes, and not all of them were intercepted, but even when he got the ball on target, our receivers weren’t too interested in catching it. We dropped a TD pass and multiple big plays that would’ve made a big difference in the outcome of the game.

My dad wrote an email to our Ohio State-fan relatives before the game, extending an olive branch “may the best team win” statement. I never had that sentiment*; I was rooting for the inferior team to win, and they didn’t. I’ve gotta give DAP to the Buckeyes for making Iowa pay for their errors — if only there hadn’t been so many, we’d probably be talking abouta 28-24 Ohio State victory. Take Iowa’s turnovers away and hand them to the Buckeyes, Iowa wins that game. They sure had the crowd behind them.

Sure, I’m bumming, but not because we lost to a possible national champion. I’m most disappointed that the Hawkeyes missed a huge chance on national television to make this statement: “Our program is as good as any in the Big Ten and here’s proof.” As it is, we’re second tier to Ohio State and Michigan and will remain so. Why? Because Iowa always does more with less. We’re darn good at making the best of the talent we get, but just once I’d like to see the Hawkeyes have the talent to match up with the Ohio States and Michigans of the world. Those programs get to do more with more. If Iowa had won Saturday, you can bet the recruiting would’ve been much better next year. There’s no shame in being the second or third best team in the Big Ten every year, but I wish Iowa could land the talent to really make a run at a championship. In the wake of this game, that day remains far off and illusory.

*I realize post facto that this sounds like I was mocking my Pop’s most excellent display of sportsmanship; I wasn’t. I merely point out that I cannot say “may the better team win” when I belive my team to be the worse of the two. Perhaps it’s a personal failing.

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Responses

  1. Good analysis of a bad game. I told your Mom afterward that I heard this was the first time in Iowa’s history that a Hawks home game got nationwide TV coverage… So there were probably high school football players all over the country that if called by Ferentz will think to themselves at the get-go, “Oh yeah, you’re the guys that I watched throw that huge game”. Ouch.

    One upbeat thing, it may now take us just a little longer to lose Ferentz to the NFL. Mike Golic said on ESPN Radio that it’s probably a foregone conclusion that Ferentz will get the opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL someday. (He already was an assistant coach for the Ravens, I believe.) Maybe this will slow down his departure somewhat.

    Last comment for now: A lot of eyes nationwide will take one last look at Tate this Saturday at Hawkeye Homecoming against Purdue. If he gets back up off the turf and uses this as motivation to take his game to the next level, some of those folks (like me) will forgive him for stumbling against No. 1.

  2. As one of the relatives that is an Ohio State fan — of course I loved the game. I was impressed by the sea of Hawkeye color and the fan’s backing of the team. As an Ohio State fan that always protects myself from being disappointed (just in case Ohio State loses) I was again convinced that they may be as good as the press releases say. After years of disappointment where John Cooper’s teams promised but didn’t deliever, it appears to me that Tressel consistently delivers — it is wonderful!

    A friendly revalry between two teams is good! The Hawkeyes have talent and I hope they win many games.

  3. Yeah, looking back at it I shouldn’t be so down. Sure, Iowa lost to a better team whom I wanted them to beat, but how many other Big Ten teams are going to play on national network television this year? Obviously OSU and Michigan, but I think that’s it. So even though we didn’t win the nationally televised game, it’s quite something that Iowa is enough of a football powerhouse to merit that kind of audience. Can you imagine a Buckeye/Hawkeye national game five years ago? Of course not.

    Iowa will continue to build up their program and go to bowl games that few care about or remember, but they’ve already gotten a lot better. Long live Coach Ferentz!

    Thanks for commenting, Uncle Lynn. Much love out to all you guys.

  4. You guys have probably all said everything about this topic, but it was a disappointing game, we definitely didn’t step up to the plate, but it can’t take away from the greatness Ferentz has brought us. We should go to another good bowl this year, and possibly a great one if we can beat Michigan. The Wolverines are looking a lot better this year, but it’s another shot at showing the quality of our program. The Hawks have gotta put it behind them, and I expect they’ll pound Purdue.


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