Brutal. For those of you who won't be bothered to click, some jagoff named Adam Rittenburg puts Iowa at 10th in the Big Ten.
And you know what? Fine. Let him. Preseason--hell, pre-spring--ratings don't mean anything, at all. The team probably won't even hear about this, much less see it or read it. It's just one bored writer with a moderately big audience.
Also, shockingly enough, I disagree with the idea. Iowa stands to improve the most of any team in the conference. They hit rock-bottom and still went .500 on the year. Minnesota's rock bottom was, um, a bit worse.
Jake Christensen will have better receivers to throw to, ones who might actually be where they're supposed to be. The entire offensive line is back, save the unfortunate shell of a tackle that is Big Dace Richardson. The Flyin' Hawaiian, Tony Moeaki, is finally going to be healthy again. You think Christensen could have used him as a safety outlet in BXI play last year? Maybe? Not to cast aspersions against Brandon Myers, who emerged as a legitimate tight end, but Moeaki's one of the best in the conference, if not the nation.
Iowa used 38 freshmen last year. All but two are back. They're fielding a much more veteran team than last season. By all measures of logic, they're on their way back up, not down.
Are they going to go 12-0? Odds are pretty fucking slim on that one. There's a long way to go back to the top, and there aren't enough playmakers on the team to get there in 2008. Could they go 10-2 or 9-3? With this schedule, definitely. No Ohio State, no Michigan, and the toughest road game is, like, Illinois. I ain't scurred.