Who let the dogs out?
The reason I ask is this: Did anyone ever adequately answer those guys who sang the song by that name?
Anyhow, here is No. 4 on the Hlog’s list of Iowa’s 2013 football games in terms of being interesting.
To see the teams that have already been ranked, click here and scroll. I’ll bet no one ever used the phrase “Click and Scroll” 25 years ago. Although, U2 did have a live album called “Rattle and Hum” that was released 25 years ago.
No. 4. Northern Illinois. Aug. 31, Game #1.
Yes, but there is an extenuating circumstance. It’s the season-opener. And I think it’s Iowa’s biggest season-opener since it kicked off the 1996 season at home against Arizona. Iowa won that one, 21-20. Two weeks later, it lost at Tulsa. But the Hawkeyes still ended up going 9-3.
Look, Northern Illinois is coming off an Orange Bowl season with its returning quarterback, Jordan Lynch. Northern Illinois got a handful of votes in the coaches’ preseason Top 25. I’m guessing they came from Mid-American Conference coaches, but still.
Is there such a thing as a must-win game? Only if that game is played with rockets and tanks instead of balls and tees. But Iowa needs this win for the most obvious of reasons.
You lose the opener if you’re the Hawkeyes, and that’s seven straight defeats. It makes this season a hole to climb out of instead of a ladder to keep climbing. It’s something that’s hard to shake off until you knock off someone who is good or string together several wins. It douses the excitement of the opening week and makes the game at Iowa State two weeks later a must-win. Minus rockets and tanks, of course.
But win this game, and voila! It’s a new day, a new season, and it’s a triumph that will count for something.
So since this is Game #1 and it’s a legitimately good opponent, this is one Iowa’s four most-interesting games on the schedule going into the season. I like any season-opener that mixes excitement with nerves, that isn’t a foregone conclusion. That’s this game.
Iowa was a 4-point favorite at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas when I typed this post. If Iowa wins by 4, it’s a good day for the Hawkeyes.
So, this is the start-up game. Do they still play “Start Me Up” at sporting events?