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Iowa Takes on Northern Iowa. In 2009.

Where were you 11 years ago?

NCAA FOOTBALL: SEP 05 Northern Iowa at Iowa Photo by Stephen Mally/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Unless you happen to live in an absolute fantasy land, a place where you’ve decided to ignore any and all morsels of media, messages, and matriculations, then you know Iowa isn’t playing football tomorrow. It’s not playing football on tomorrow’s tomorrow, or tomorrow’s tomorrow’s tomorrow, either. In fact, there will be many tomorrows until we get to see our beloved Black and Gold back between the hashes.

So what are we to do as Iowa fans, and Iowa bloggers?

We look to yesterday.

In the first of a series of lookbacks, intended solely to keep us from look-aheads, which take up the other 23 hours of the day, we’re going to revisit Iowa’s 2009 bout with Northern Iowa. A game that hasn’t taken place yet, at least as you’re reading this.

Let’s set the table

Iowa had hopes of totally and completely running the table in 2009 after a 9-4 2008. Then Shonn Greene announced his decision to leave early, and the hype-o-meter plummeted.

Despite the departures of Greene, Mitch King, Matt Kroul, and Bradley Fletcher, Iowa was still pretty... green around the roster, contributing to high expectations for the year. Iowa was ranked No. 22 in the AP to start, and was predicted by everyone currently reading this to finish the year at least in the top 10.

Ricky Stanzi, DJK, Tony Moeaki and a stable of unproven running backs behind an offensive line with three NFLers on it would be enough to make the scoring happen. A Norm Parker defense? Next question.

The Panthers, meanwhile, returned 14 starters on a team that reached the semifinals of the Football Championship Subdivision of college football. Panther QB Pat Grace, who posted a QB rating of 148 in 2008, has the arms and the legs of a slinger who can give Iowa fits.

Still, there’s a reason why the kid from Sioux City isn’t playing seven Saturdays a year in Iowa City.

Let’s analyze

Although Stanzi had to work to win the starting job a year ago, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of leash he’s on in a season-opener against an inferior team.

But I think that’s already too many sentences spent on the offense. Sure, we don’t really know who’s gonna be starting at running back, but uh as long as it’s not Paki O’Meara, we’ll be fine.

On defense we have Amari Spievey, who’s the definition of an island. Pat Angerer is going to make it to the NFL on his name alone, and Jeremiha Hunter with AJ Edds lines out possibly the best linebacking corps we’ve seen since... 2004?

And I feel pretty good about this Clayborn guy. Do you feel pretty good about him? UNI is breaking in a brand new running back against these guys. Maybe we should only start 10 on defense to at least give them a chance.

The only thing that has me a little nervous for this game is our special teams. Particularly the field goal blocking unit. I don’t trust Broderick Binns OR Jeremiha Hunter there. Just don’t.

Let’s predict

Anyway, the spread is 15. And because we’re sheep, and we’re gonna bah bah bah all our way to the bookie to lay it on thick with our Hawks now, so we can lay it on thick at Joe’s Place later.

Hawks by a million. We’re smellin’ roses this year kiddos.