In 1959 the Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev scanned the vast horizon stretched out before him and slowly turned towards his entourage which included Mr. Garst, in a hushed voice he said "Now I know why America is great you create with four men what it takes sixty men to do in Russia, isn't that correct Mr. Garst." The Iowa farmer slowly nodded in agreement as he faced the Premier.
This is what Iowa has learned to do for many years doing more with less. This adage can be applied to the University of Iowa football team as well. Some way somehow Iowa pulls together and makes it work even when the numbers don't add up. This year is unusual in the fact that the numbers do add up. All the parts are in place and once again Iowa has a valid shot with walking away with the national championship this year.
I know this isn't the Iowa way. The Iowa way is to say were not that good. We were lucky last year and on and on. Now is the time to be bold and stake your claim. The Hawkeyes aren't going to sneak up on anybody this year. This may also be the last time we get a chance like this.
The last time we were this close to a national championship were in the years 1956 and 1960 when we finished the regular season third in the polls and 1958 when the Hawkeyes finished the regular season second in the polls. In each of those seasons we could have had a decent shot at winning national championships but back then the bowl games had no bearing on the final outcome and in each case we were left at the altar as bridesmaids. Especially in 1960 the final polls were razor close between the three top teams. Minnesota had a small margin over Iowa and would go on to lose the Rose bowl. Iowa was left at home that year without a bowl game to attend back when the available options for bowl games was sparse at best. Therefore Minnesota would go on to claim another national championship with their bowl loss having no effect on the final outcome.
Defense is the key element in any championship run and Iowa is blessed in this category. The front four may be the most important part of a team's foundation and in this case Iowa might have it's best front four of all time. The last time we had a defensive end as dominant as Adrian Clayborn was Andre Tippett. Andre Tippett's bust is currently displayed in Canton. Clayborn may be even more dominant than Tippet was at this point in his career. The linebacking corps is untested but I have confidence due to the front four that they will weather the storm.
The secondary once again is solid, when you have a player of Bernstine's caliber as a backup that speaks fairly well for the remaining secondary. Sash may end up at Iowa as one of their best saftie's ever if he isn't already there.
This team is not only defense the offense is solid as well. The backfield is in good hands with Robinson and Hampton. Even if one of them goes down we have some prized freshman ready to replace them.
Stanzi is a year older and wiser. I can't imagine him throwing pick sixes like he did last year. No matter how you feel about him he is a winner who has amazing resiliency.
The receiving corp is solid with Johnson-Koulianos back and closing in on all the Iowa receiving records along with the gifted Marvin McNutt who provides a large target and reliable hands. Don't forget about Keenan Davis who might be utilized to display his enormous talent this year. At tight end Allen Reisner is a proven commodity and the sky is the limit for incoming freshman C.J Fiedorowics just don't ask me to pronounce it.
The offensive line remains untested but I am confident that Ferentz and the boys will have them more than ready come game time.
Iowa has become accustomed to doing more with less this is the year they will do more with more and once again the words of the late Russian Premier might echo through the heart land and beyond and Iowa will take it 's rightful place among those other immortals called champions.