I can’t help but giggle when I hear suggestions on what Kirk Ferentz has to do to get his Iowa football program back to winning ways next season.
Not that some of the suggestions aren’t reasonable, or seemingly so. It’s just that when it comes to college football, does anyone know anything when it comes to the future?
Case in point: Who told you or what did you read that said Iowa would have a losing season this year? No one told me that. No publication said so. (Yes, I know, a losing season isn’t assured yet. But it seems, shall we say, quite possible.)
Before this season began, I heard great enthusiasm from the public about Iowa getting a new offensive coordinator, a fresh approach. Now? Now, not so much.
Next August, the safest bet might be to bet against everything you’re being told about every college football team, conference and national-title race, and Heisman Trophy outlook.
Don’t believe me? Associated Press’ preseason No. 1 this season was USC, which has lost three times and could conceivably lose three more starting with UCLA today.
Arkansas was the AP’s preseason No. 10 team. It is now 4-6. Also ranked were Michigan State (5-5) and Virginia Tech (4-6), both tied for last place in their conference’s divisions.
After Michigan State opened the season with a 17-13 home win over Boise State, many suggested the physical Spartans with brutalizing running back Le’Veon Bell were the team to beat in the Big Ten. Uh, no.
After Penn State started the season with losses to Ohio and Virginia, the popular belief was that the Nittany Lions were on the fast track to nowhere. Uh, no.
Kansas State, meanwhile, is two wins from playing in the BCS title game. It was only No. 22 in the AP preseason rankings. Phil Steele’s college football
preseason magazine picked the Wildcats sixth in the Big 12.
Had you bet $100 on K-State quarterback Collin Klein to win the Heisman Trophy before the season began, you would collect $5,000 when Klein is announced the winner next month. Now, you would need to wager $300 on him to win $100.
The preseason Heisman favorite? That, in a runaway, was USC quarterback Matt Barkley. He will not be among the five Heisman finalists. Nor will Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, widely touted as Barkley’s toughest Heisman competition three months ago.
On Oct. 6, West Virginia beat Texas, 48-45, to improve to 6-0 overall. People were conceding West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith the Heisman. That was four consecutive losses ago.
In the summer, the player who was everyone’s choice as the nation’s top wide receiver was USC’s Robert Woods. Today, the wide receiver most likely to be a Heisman finalist is … USC’s Marqise Lee.
So go ahead and make definitive statements about how near or far Iowa is from leaving this disappointing season behind. Just don’t bet on whatever you believe.
Unless, that is, you were one of the few who plopped a hundy on Klein to win the Heisman. You, my friend, are someone I need to get to know.
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