Less than two weeks 'til real football, party people. Until then, hooray for simulated dominance! -- Ross
This post may be a but premature, in that Iowa may continue to dominate beyond the stated length of time quoted in the headline. Having said that, the Hawkeyes are really showing some virtual awesomeness in the Big Ten Network's simulation of past seasons in the "What if Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 1996?" scenario.
The results of the time period from 1996 -2000 are to be expected: Iowa was not sniffing pay dirt. The Hawkeyes are as virtually bad as they were reality bad in the time span given. The 2001 season was better than I would have expected with the Hawkeyes finishing with a 5-3 record in conference (Cross0ver games, Penn State (W, of course) and Illinois (L)), good enough for third place in the division behind Michigan State and eventual Big Ten Champion Nebraska.
2002 is where the rubber really meets the road and where the question that many Hawkeyes and Buckeyes fans get at least one opinion of the game that was never played. Although in the simulation, this game did not occur once, but twice. Iowa finished the season with a perfect 8-0 mark in conference while Ohio State, the Hawkeyes dance partner in the conference championship game, lost one game throughout the regular season; a cross over game against Iowa. The CCG was a nail biter with the Hawkeyes pulling it out in the fourth quarter.
2003 was a bit of a virtual step back in that the Hawkeyes finished the season 6-2 with two in-division losses (Minnesota and the eventual B1G CC, Michigan). But, we did beat Ohio State, again.
2004 and 2005 could have just been a reprint of the same season. Both Iowa and Ohio State finish the season with perfect 8-0 marks and meet in the CCG. Iowa winning in 2004 and Ohio State winning in 2005.
For me, this simulation brings a lot more questions than answers. But, the answers first.
1. The simulation really thinks that our teams 2002-2005 were good, very good. This tends to stir up some nostalgia for me in the "Oh yeah, those WERE really good teams sort of way." I think that at the onset of Ferentz's career many Iowa fans, certainly I for one, went to football games to drink. Wins were Icing on the beer cake (mmmm, beer cake [can we play for that trophy[). Then 2002 hit and I think that there was a sudden bout of frenzy along the lines of "OMG! We're pretty fuckin' good!" But, because of it's unsuspected nature, we may not have savored it like we should have.
2. Those quarterbacks were fucking studs. I'll just say it: JC6 and his ilk are the rule; Brad Banks and Drew Tate were exceptions to said rule. It was a simple matter of the right people in the right place with very, very talented receiving corps around them.
1. So, you're saying that Iowa would have lost 2 games in conference from 2002-2005?
2. So, you're saying all of running backs were alive and well all through all of those seasons?
3. So, you're saying that we can beat Ohio State, a team that since I went to Iowa we have beaten ONCE, 4 out of 5 times in a four year stretch? One of those years TWICE?
I don't think that there are many University of Iowa computer simulation programmers, but who ever made this simulation software certainly had a soft spot for the Hawkeyes. I, for one, am okay with that.