HAWKS TAKE OSU TO WIRE, LOSE TO WISKY AND NITTANY LIONS
Triple Loss a First in College Football History
From the AP:
The pain was evident on frosh Hawk starter James Vandenberg's face. It was not simply the pain of not making the Rose Bowl as the underdog. Nor the pain of losing his first start, despite playing unexpectedly poised football. Nor the pain of having come so close, so close, to beating a team no one thought they could beat.
No. For the Opie-faced Hawk signal-caller, it was the pain of the first triple-loss in NCAA history. Yes, Iowa was a 17 point underdog, playing in perhaps the most hostile environment possible. Yes, Iowa hung in there, with a real chance to win, taking the highly-regarded Buckeyes into overtime. Yes, Iowa nearly won despite crippling injuries that would've placed lesser teams on the losing end of a thirty-point beat-down.
But it became clear, by the time the Buckeyes had won on a 39 yard kick in OT, that this loss by this Iowa team could not be fully realized by just a single "L" in the loss column. This team, this lucky team, this recipient of manna all season long from the football Gods (did I mention they lucked out by blocking TWO field goal attempts to beat Northern Iowa? And also by blocking a punt for a TD in the PSU game? And also by returning a kickoff for a TD against the Buckeyes? And also by coming back from 14 points down late in that game to luckily get to OT?), was so overrated, their fans so obnoxious, their coach so smugly "nice" (and we in the college FB media HATE "nice"!), their unis so garish and Steeler-y, and their ex-coach so moustache-y and high porch picnic-y, that one loss could not do it all.
Let the record reflect that Iowa now falls to 7-4, with an asterisk next to the Iowa-Wisconsin and -Penn State scores leading one to the welcome words "Lucky Win, Counts as Loss". Let the doubters take their "Well, didn't Iowa beat both those teams AT HOME fair and square?" garbage to the dump. We all know what happened. Some call it luck. Others, fortune, or kismet, or fate.
But it surely wasn't talent, they weren't deserved victories. How could they be, with the Hawks anchored by (gasp!) a bunch of slow Midwestern two and--if they're lucky--three star prospects? Surely their victories at Happy Valley and Camp Randall were influenced by darker forces (dare I name him: Satan?), and in the name of all things holy, cannot be rewarded as wins.
But it isn't likely to stop there. Out West, where real football talent is sprung, there is a movement to negate the Hawks win against Arizona as well. Understandable, given the Wildcats close loss to a near-unbeatable Cal team, a team that would surely woodshed the lowly Hawkeyes by forty. Iowa may have won the Kinnick Stadium point battle, but justice will win the victory-total war, the Wildcats hope.
According to NCAA sources, an investigation, too, is in the works. Surely rules were broken somewhere along the line, for no rational explanation otherwise exists for Iowa's uncanny knack of defeating clearly superior teams this season. Come from behind? Come on! Money, drugs, booze, babes, iPods, slankets, Swanson chicken-pot-pies--these must have been some of the enticements that were offered to opponents to let Iowa "back in the game" in their many unearned victories.
Fortunately, the pollsters have injected some well-needed sanity into this situation and, knowing how slow the NCAA is in their investigation, docked Iowa the requisite number of poll slots. Depending on the poll, Penn State and Wisconsin are ahead of Iowa, and all is right with the world. That is, until the next "come from behind" lucky Hawkeye victory.