As part of LTP's season previews, he has culled the collective wisdom of the BIG TEN BLOGGERS and compiled an actual All-Conference team for the upcoming 2008 season. We say actual because we're not copping out like the media and just taking four DEs for the DL spots. The second-team picks are due any moment, but for now we've got the extra-curriculars, the short-answer essays, the wild cards of it all. Anybody can tell you Jake Christensen is the best quarterback in the BXI. It takes the true power of geniusness to dig deeper.
Coach of the Year: Kirk Ferentz. He'll have it locked up by Week 7, when the Hawkeyes are the only undefeated team left in the BXI.
Most Likely To Strike Heisman Pose: Defensive tackle Mitch King. The Burlington Basher will rewrite Lee Roy Selmon's records at defensive tackle and single-handedly blow up any and all attempts at an inside rushing game. His impact on a game will not go unnoticed by sportscasters and fans alike, especially as he scores four touchdowns off turnovers he creates.
Last Year's Illini Will Be This Year's ???? (most improved): Of course, this will be Iowa, as the Hawkeyes will go from 6-6 to 13-0, winning the BCS Championship in a 43-3 squeaker over Ohio State, who cannot handle EYE-CEE SPEEEED.
Upset game of the year (include non-conference): It's hard to call any of a national champion's wins an upset, so we'll exclude Iowa from this conversation, but look for Coastal Carolina to win going away in Happy Valley.
Name You'll Know In December That No One Knows In June: Amari Spievey. The New Jersey cornerback came to Iowa two years ago, but dropped out after his freshman year after failing to make grades and developing depression. The young man went to Iowa Central, attained NJCAA All-American status, and is on the fast track to start in the Iowa secondary, and probably also return punts--he took 3 to the house for ICCC. Also Kirk Ferentz is giving him a cattle prod for use on the field.
Most Likely To John McLaren (aka lose it in postgame rant): Woody Hayes.
Highest NFL Draft Pick in 2009: J Leman, as NFL GMs realize their gross error in judgment from 2008. He's your prohibitive favorite for #1 overall in 2009, just as soon as he ends the War on Terror. Numbers 2-23 will be Iowa's entire starting lineup.
The Must See Game of the Year that is not Ohio State - Michigan: Iowa-Maine, as Kirk Ferentz takes revenge on a state that forgot him just 10 years ago. The Maine Streets are a rough-and-tumble gang of misfits who took Texas to the wire last season and beat Florida State outright in 2005, but these Hawkeyes are in it for the kill. Look for a 44-41 slugfest that'll be leading SportsCenter for the next three days. Instant Classic? More like Very Instant Classic.