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Five Bold Predictions for the 2020 Iowa Football Season

I did this so you don’t have to

Middle Tennessee v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

So I guess it’s just about that time to start taking this bloggin’ thing seriously again. Iowa football is imminent and it’s going to take a little bit more than a PUNY false positive to keep me from stoking the flames of the Hawkeye content mill.

I’m not interested in providing any sort of constructive commentary on the state of the greater football program—a stench permeating the atmosphere like a freshly opened pack of Funyuns inside a PT Cruiser with the heat on.

You’re here because you want outlandish, deranged misinformation that you can forget about moments after closing your browser and dropping your computer faster than the Dallas Cowboys on primetime.

So ask and you shall receive:

Five Bold Predictions for the Iowa Football Season

5. Spencer Petras is nothing short of extraordinary

It’s a lot easier to get comfortable with this statement when you consider the chest of toys Petras gets to play with, but I have to believe that Spencer Petras is going to have himself a sensational year.

I’m not going to sit here and try to predict stats—mostly because this season is going to be like a 13 shorter than typical and creating such speculation would require actual math—so we’re just going to have to play fair and agree that we’ll know greatness when we see it.

Is greatness going 8-0? 7-1? Reaching the B1G ‘ship? WINNING said ‘ship? Passing for a million touchdowns and no interceptions? I’ll never tell!

4. The 2020 offense is Brian Ferentz’s best work

As lightly alluded to above, we’re gonna have ourselves a goddam gunslinger at quarterback with what is the equivalent of the original Broadway cast of Hamilton surrounding him along the stage offense.

If Brian Ferentz doesn’t comfortably eclipse all his previous offensive high watermarks, then he simply isn’t fit for this job. If he can’t light up the scoreboard against a bunch of defenses that haven’t tackled anyone for 10 months, with a roster full of players who are really good at avoiding even the most well-practiced tacklers, then we can put the kibosh on the funding of this grand experiment and hope Hallmark starts making a card that says “see ya later, Byron Frents.”*

3. The 2020 defense is probably Phil Parker’s worst

The 2014 season saw Iowa give up 25 points a game, a few points more than 2011’s 23ish ppg, but in general Iowa’s scoring defense averages around the high teens, which is like truly under-appreciated and also kinda FUBAR.

As incredible as Phill is, I just don’t think he’ll be immune to the reality that his defense has had very little time (relatively) to actually practice the things that make his defense work. Other schools suffer from this problem too, but I think it impacts Iowa more dramatically since 1. its defense is going to be on the field a lot due to a potent offense, 2. Iowa probably benefits from practice more than other teams, and 3. I have some serious questions about the roster.

While I don’t necessarily believe the defense will be as atrocious as I make it sound (in Phil we trust!) Parker has built up the goodwill to keep his job as long as he doesn’t let Riley Moss get burnt more than once this Saturday.**

2. Iowa has at least 8 players taken in the 2020 NFL Draft

When I first wrote that, I figured eight to be some huge number, but Iowa’s had six players taken three times (2010, ‘11, & ‘12) so it’s not a gigantic leap to make.

In this same vein, I predict Ihmir Smith-Marsette to go higher than any Iowa skill position player since Shonn Greene, who was taken in the third round (65th overall) of 2008’s draft. CJ Beathard was also taken in the third round, but at 104th overall.

To list the locks to be drafted:

Alaric Jackson
Ihmir Smith-Marsette
Chauncey Golston
Nick Niemann
Keith Duncan

Cole Banwart, Jack Heflin, Coy Cronk, Brandon Smith, and Matt Hankins are toss-ups, while Shaun Beyer is a very outside chance guy imo. So if half those fringe guys end up getting drafted, we’re golden.

1. This is the last year of the Kirk Ferentz era

It’s time. I just have to believe that after 21 years, Captain Kirk has had more than enough of this shit.

Beyond the fact the game is changing, Kirk is getting older and things aren’t exactly sunshine and butterflies inside the football complex right now. One has to consider: if you were Kirk Ferentz right now... wouldn’t you just want to hide in a bunker?

With all the *gestures outside the window* going on, I just don’t think the juice is worth the squeeze of trying to coach through a pandemic for (likely at least) a second time, when you could simply... just not do that. At age 65, it might be time to turn in the badge and enjoy your piles of money.

Add in the fact that Brian is going to have a great year, so it’ll be less-controversial than normal to just hand him the keys outright. With that in mind we’ve got ourselves a wide open window for Kirk Ferentz to ride off into the sunset.

This prediction becomes even stronger if you consider Gary Barta could be out the door, leaving a shiny new office for Kirk Ferentz to take naps in while between Zoom calls to donors.

*Byron Frents is kinda fun to say, isn’t it? That was a happy little accident.

**There I said it.