Here's the setup: After conceding an early lead, Iowa found itself down 23-14 in the fourth quarter to Penn State late in 2008. Iowa responded with a touchdown, then two stops of PSU's offense to take over with the ball and a 2-point deficit late in the game.
Here's what happened: Buoyed by one of the most obvious and consistently called pass interference calls ever (sorry, PSU fans, but A: you'd claim the same with the shoe on the other foot and B: go home already, BHGP isn't your house), Iowa drove down the field as time waned, culminating in Daniel Murray nailing this 31-yard field goal to give Iowa the lead with one second left.
Here's why it matters, aside from the immediately obvious. We cite Morehouse, during his ongoing countdown of the 10 best games of the last decade (emphasis ours):
Add the drama of Daniel Murray. He hadn’t stepped onto the field in five weeks. Suddenly, coach Kirk Ferentz taps him on the shoulder for a 31-yarder into a swirly wind.
After two middling years, Iowa found its footing. Since this game, the Hawkeyes are 15-2.
The fog of ‘06 and ‘07 had finally lifted.
So, okay. Kirk Ferentz tabbed Daniel Murray to take that field goal, and Kirk Ferentz was operating with exponentially more information than you or I when it came to personnel decisions. So let's keep that in mind.
But let's also assume, for whatever reason, that Daniel Murray or whoever lines up there that night, misses the kick (shank, block, wind, whatever) and Iowa loses to Penn State. Is Iowa's record going forward still as exemplary? Tell you what: let's put it to a vote, and discussion past that goes below.
If Daniel Murray somehow misses that field goal, how does Iowa's future unfold?
16-17 wins: They're even stronger for it! (23 votes)
15 wins: Same as it ever was. Don't read too much into one easy field goal. (187 votes)
13-14 wins: The culture of winning isn't quite as strong as Iowa can't match anything since 2004. Everyone gets used to the Alamo Bowl. (355 votes)
11-12 wins: Iowa embraces their second-rate-ed-ness and fails to Get With The Program. (134 votes)
9-10 wins: Kirk Ferentz gets fired and we try to talk ourselves into Ralph Friedgen or Frank Beamer's top assistant or something. (31 votes)
730 total votes