From time to time, I'll start thinking crazy, folks, and I'll need someone to talk me out of it.
Earlier, it was musing about why I didn't want Dominique Douglas to start (conspicuously absent in my reasoning: felony credit card theft), and now, it's more doom and/or gloom.
I don't think Iowa can go .500 in the Big Ten.
Certainly, this is no fault of the defense, which ranks right up with Ohio State's and Wisconsin's as the best in the Big Ten. For as much handwringing as is done about Norm Parker's bend-but-don't-break defense, they can keep even an anemic offense in any game (see last Saturday). No, any criticism or calling for Norm Parker's head is the result of unfocused dissatisfaction with the past 2+ years of Iowa football.
And now this year. Oh God, this year. The offense has played one stellar half, and that is about it. The receiving corps, a strength in August, has continued on an inexorable march towards extinction, with but four or five scholarship receivers left... for now (dramatic chipmunk). It is not unreasonable to assume that by the Northwestern game at the start of November, James Cleveland will be held hostage by terrorists, DJK will be frothing at the mouth and bleeding from the butt, and Colin Sandeman will have wished the bones out of his body.
Even if the receivers stay healthy, the offensive line will have to be capable of getting the running game going, which hasn't happened since they faced Northern Illinois's line. Sure, Iowa should beat Indiana, Northwestern, and Minnesota, but isn't a lack of an offense enough of a worry that we can't be sure they'll beat, uh, anyone else?
(Oh, by the way. If Indiana wins at Kinnick, some weird shit is going to go down. Not some sort of "ha-ha, look at our impression of Brian when Michigan was losing, here are cute animals" business, either. I mean complete unreadability. Just forewarning you.)