This post is sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 11.
Today, the discussion veers into a topic that's near and dear to just about every college football fan ever: the top moments in your favored program's history.
As with yesterday's discussion about top games, we can't properly laud the moments that happened before we were born or properly cognitive (again, easy joke goes here). So while Nile Kinnick's timeless Heisman Speech or Bob Jeter and Kenny Ploen devastating Oregon State with BIG TEE EEE ENN SPEEEEEEEED are both wonderful parts of Iowa Hawkeye history, they weren't moments we actually, y'know, experienced.
All that aside, though, we can think of many moments, good and bad, that have helped shape us as Iowa fans. We're going to post videos for as many as possible, so make sure you've got some time on your hands. Longpost is loooooong. So go pour a drank, schedule an hour or two for yourself, sit down, and let's remember things together.
Hayden's teams, especially during the 1980s, had a flair for the dramatic; who can forget Marv Cook converting the 29-yard touchdown on 4th and 23 to beat Ohio State, or Chuck Long's glacial naked bootleg to upend Michigan State? And certainly nobody on that team had a better sense of the moment than kicker Rob Houghtlin, whose game-winners included the bananas Holiday Bowl against SDSU and the penalty-aided kick to beat MInnesotain 1987. There might have been another one we're not remembering.
Tim Dwight, of course, was a "moment" waiting to happen every time he touched the ball:
As memorable seasons go, it's really difficult to top 2002, largely because of the different ways in which Iowa won. Big plays were everywhere, thanks to Brad Banks, Dallas Clark, and BHGP favorite Fred Russell--not to mention Matt Roth and Bob Sanders. And nowhere is that exemplified better than Iowa-Purdue 2002, where Iowa won 31-28, but with the following scores:
- 51-yard field goal
- Blocked field goal returned for a touchdown
- Blocked punt recovered in end zone for a touchdown
- 95-yard pass for a touchdown
- 86-yard drive with under 2 minutes left
Of course, that 2002 culminated in an Orange Bowl bid, and though the game ended poorly, it still featured one of the most incredible moments in Iowa history:
As always, we struggle to remember the rest of that game, so we're just going to say they called the game right after that kickoff return. If USC fans disagree, they are "haters."
2004, we've discussed at length, but that doesn't mean we can't post this again:
That play was good enough to make it into ESPN's Top College Football Images of the Decade; we think it fits here too.
There were some lean moments for the next couple years, to be sure, but no post like this would be even adequate without The Stand:
Few Hawkeyes have been as highlight-friendly as Shonn Greene in 2008. There was his I Am Neo run against Wisconsin:
...and then his "yes, I am definitely Neo" performance against poor Frank Duong and the rest of the Purdue defense shortly thereafter.
But Purdue and Wisconsin are hardly the only teams Iowa has handled over the past couple years. Why, we haven't even scratched the surface of Penn State. Let's scratch now.
Okay, the last one technically isn't Kirk Ferentz lady-punching Joe Paterno in the face. But it took us like seven viewings to realize that, so we're including it anyway.
There's also the bad moments, and the Michigan Wolverines have been particularly adept at causing those heart-wrenching moments, sucking all the air out of the room and ruining the weekend with just one back-breaking play. Whether it's Kahlil Hill forced into taking a safety with Iowa down 10-9, Marquise Walker's absurd one-handed grab in the end zone, or Sam Sword intercepting Matt Sherman in Michigan's red zone, Michigan has always had a knack for breaking Iowa's hearts in the cruelest fashion possible. These aren't great moments, but they've brought us all together. Sorta wish they hadn't, but y'know.
Still, even if Michigan enjoys crushing Iowa's hearts, we've always got 1985, and what must be the most iconic moment in Iowa football history. We know EA didn't ask for a "winner" or anything, but we must finish this post with The Kick.
I know we left plenty out. Discuss below.