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Iowa Hawkeye Football in 2007: What a Time to be Alive

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City Boyz, Inc.!

Simpler times

SB Nation is doing a look back at the wacky, crazy 2007 football season (the craziest part might be that Iowa didn’t even play any football games that season how weird!). In honor of that football season, here is our contribution to the collection. You can find the rest here.

In my look through Kirk Ferentz’s tenure at Iowa, one season really stands out from the rest: 2007. On its face, they returned a bevy of skill position players on offense and a strong defense. Though Shonn Greene and Amari Spievey left on hiatus, Iowa still had things looking up with 4-star Jake Christensen poised to step in as the quarterback.

That was not the case.

Before the season began, City Boyz, Inc. sent the season off the rails. The former proprietors of the site summarized the off-field hijinks in their “great moments of the 2000s” series:

On August 20, [wide receivers Dominique] Douglas and [Anthony] Bowman were arrested for stealing two credit cards, going to a computer at the athletic department, and ordering $2000 worth of hats. No, I'm not kidding. They were suspended that afternoon.

The next day, a warrant was issued for [backup quarterback Arvell] Nelson for failing to appear at a hearing on a traffic ticket. Later that afternoon, the pictures began to surface. We saw, and believed: These four had formed a group dubbed City Boyz, Inc. (and get that spelling right), dedicated to liquor, cash, bling, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. jackets. Because life is one fucking hustle, lawya.

The rest of the dominoes fell from there: Douglas was picked up for shoplifting DVD’s out of a Wal-Mart and was officially kicked off the team by the end of September, reappearing in a new set of even-more-ridiculous pictures months later and eventually working his way into a Geico commercial. [Wide receiver James] Cleveland -- who wore "88" wristbands through the 2007 season as a show of solidarity with a petty thief -- and Nelson were arrested in late February on drug charges and dismissed a week later. Bowman never saw another practice and quietly slinked off into the night. Just like that, they were gone, leaving behind a trail of empty Grey Goose bottles and cubic zirconium the likes of which Iowa City has never seen.

I urge you to follow the links because the pictures are worth 1000 words of straight cash, homie.

The season didn’t get much better! They played 12 straight Saturdays. It was also during a time when I was not 100% devoted to their games sine I had marching band competitions keeping me occupied during my senior year of high school.

After a wet blanket win against Northern Illinois at Soldier Field and beatdown of Syracuse, Iowa went on to score 20 points or fewer in six straight games, losing five. The only win came against a Rose Bowl-bound Illinois team: 10-6.

My most memorable moment of the 2007 season season occurred when I got my acceptance letter to Purdue on the one Saturday I could watch them play: a 31-6 loss to the Boilermakers. I remember telling my Mom: “Of course this arrived today. It’s almost like they knew.”

Backed against the wall at 3-5 with the potential of missing a bowl game for the first time since 2000, Iowa offered a glimmer of hope with an overtime win against Michigan State. Then they beat Northwestern and Minnesota. With only Western Michigan left on the schedule, another bowl berth and a salvaged season were within reach!

Just kidding.

In a performance emblematic of the season, Iowa looked lazy and disinterested as Western Michigan jumped to a 19-0 lead with the help of a Derrell Johnson-Koulianos fumble. Though Iowa got it to within 6 after their first possession of the second half, and again in the fourth quarter, they could never get over the hump. 28-19, season over.

It was the first time Iowa missed a bowl game since 2000 after going 6-6 overall and 4-4 in conference play. Mitch King, Charles Godfrey, Bryan Mattison, and Mike Humpal were voted onto various all-conference teams. Other fun stats (and one lie)!

  • Iowa had the 6th best defense by opponents points per game (18.8) of the Ferentz era
  • It was the 3rd worst offense by points per game (18.5)
  • 2007 was one of four seasons when a Ferentz squad had a negative point differential
  • Kirk Ferentz was able to move decisively into 2008 by benching JC6 in the offseason

What do you remember about 2007?

*Edits were made to clarify the names in the block quote