I know there have been similar fanposts already, but I feel the need to let this out, so here goes:
It's been about 48 hours since Iowa lost to Northwestern. AGAIN. It sucks. The mood amongst the fanbase and surrounding the program right now is about as bad as it's been since sometime in 2007, or at least after the 3-3 start in 2008. Another season of great expectations has failed to live up. Having said that, I think a tremendous opportunity exists on Saturday.
Saturday is senior day. This has been a special, special group. The 2008 win over PSU, closing out the dome at 55-0, double block, Clayborn's punt block in Happy Valley, 7 got 6, and a BCS bowl win that was far more one sided than the 21-10 final would indicate. Iowa has a chance to add one more incredibly special memory. Stanzi has a chance to leave a legacy greater than admittedly flat performances at IU and NU. Iowa has a chance to end a 5-year stretch of Big Ten titles, against one of the most marquee programs in college football, with every college football fan in the midwest tuning in. 9-3 (6-2) wouldn't be what the fanbase hoped for entering the season, but, you know what? It's pretty damn good. It would get them the Capital One Bowl against a big-time SEC school and another shot at 10 wins. Iowa has only won 6 or more conference games 6 times in 20 years ('90, '91, '96, '02, '04, '09). Let's make it 7. A win over big, bad Ohio State could salvage a lot of joy from a largely depressing season. And I mean a lot.
It will be tough. They are solid on both sides of the ball. Pryor is a tremendous athlete. But, if the team that showed up against Michigan State shows up, if the offense that showed up for large stretches of the Wisconsin, Michigan and first half of the Penn State games shows up, Iowa can play with these guys. They could give OSU a game. And maybe, just maybe, this is the week where it's IOWA that makes the big play in the 4th quarter with the game on the line. It can happen. And if it does, it's going to feel good, no, it's going to feel AWESOME, and I'm going to dance around my living room (I really wish I could make it down) and sing In Heaven there is no Beer with my kids. And I'm going to celebrate breaking a ridiculous streak of conference titles. And beating a team Iowa almost NEVER beats. And exacting revenge for last year's heartache. And I'm going to break open a really expensive bottle of alcohol of some sort Saturday night.
Because, as much as last Saturday hurt, a great, great chance still sits in front of this team. Face it, once AZ and WI happened any BCS dreams were on life support anyway. And I have the strangest feeling, despite all evidence to the contrary, that they might just make the most of it. LET'S FORGET ABOUT THE DAMN WILDCATS (until 10-15-11, when they are going down), and BEAT THE MIGHTY OHIO STATE BUCKEYES. OK, that was my "was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!" Bluto speech. Make of it what you will, but, we beat OSU, and this is still a damn special season.