Sure, sure, Iowa’s chance for a winning football season got squeezed a bit by last Saturday’s season-opening loss to Northern Illinois.
But the deserts and prairies and concrete canyons of college football are filled with tales of teams that dropped their opener only to have a joyous resurrection.
Saturday’s Missouri State-Iowa matchup is about as tantalizing as a granola bar, so instead of dwelling on that I’ll lift your spirits with examples of 0-1 teams whose dreams weren’t thwarted and whose faith was rewarded. Someone should put those words to music, maybe include a saxophone solo.
Texas A&M started last season with a home loss to Florida, but shrugged off that defeat as it were an NCAA investigator. The Aggies went on to win at Alabama, and clocked Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl to close with a shiny 11-2 mark.
The Aggies’ Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy. Now, he appears to be college football’s answer to Miley Cyrus.
Boise State dropped its opener last year, at Michigan State. But the Broncos came to a realization on the flight home from Lansing to Idaho. Namely, they wouldn’t be playing any more Big Ten teams. So, they won 11 games like they always do.
Last Saturday, Boise State began the season by getting blasted at Washington, 38-6. Maybe the Broncos flew home with the realization they won’t be playing any more Pac-12 teams. They host Tennessee-Martin Saturday.
I’d rather see Boise State play Iowa and Tennessee-Martin get paired up with Missouri State. You would, too. Why are powerful forces always working against us?
Anyhow, back to the original premise. Tulsa’s 2012 debut was a 38-23 loss at Iowa State. Did the Golden Hurricane go into the fetal position? No, they won Conference USA’s championship and then avenged that defeat to the Cyclones when the two teams met in the Liberty Bowl.
Tulsa got waxed 34-7 at Bowling Green last Thursday to start its 2013 season. But if the Hurricane plays Bowling Green in the GoDaddy.com Bowl or whatever, I’m betting on Tulsa.
And let us not forget Northern Illinois. The Huskies opened their 2012 season with an 18-17 loss to Iowa in Chicago. They finished the season in the Orange Bowl, totally unfamiliar and wondrous territory for a Mid-American Conference club.
Look at most fictional movies about sports teams. Rare is the one that won its opening game, be it the Flint Tropics, Charlestown Chiefs or Bad News Bears. But it always works out for them.
Of course, the previous time Northern Illinois started the season by playing Iowa, it not only lost that 2007 game but was beaten on nine more occasions. Hey, not everything is a fairy tale.