The Hawkeyes are set to take on Northwestern on Saturday in what is now a must-win for Iowa to have any outside chance at a back door trip to Indianapolis as the Big Ten West division champs. Beyond the implications in the conference standings, this matchup has major implications in the psyche of Iowa fans.
Fresh of a pair of losses where the Hawkeye offense was virtually non-existent, the fanbase is ready for change in a big way.
We’ve been asking a series of questions each week this season, tracking how the fanbase feels about Iowa’s prospects for the season and what changes they’d like to see. Given the offensive struggles, we came back to that well this week and asked fans whether it was time to make a change to the head man on offense.
The answer? A resounding “YES!” A full 79% of respondents this week said it’s time for Iowa to fire offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz.
Given his name, relationship to the head coach and said head coach’s track record of making such pivotal changes, the move seems pretty unlikely. However, that isn’t going to stop Hawkeye fans from wanting the change to happen.
It’s also not stopping fans from calling for a change to the signal caller. Last week we saw backup Alex Padilla take more meaningful snaps than any backup since CJ Beathard earned actual time in 2014.
In another totally unsurprising turn of events, more than two-thirds of Iowa fans are ready for a change at quarterback as 70% of respondents said it’s time to bench starter Spencer Petras.
The interesting part here is not so much the distaste the fanbase has for the status quo, but that the pessimism is actually relatively limited.
No doubt, there is more of it than a week ago as this week we have 89% of respondents saying they no longer believe Iowa will win the Big Ten West. That’s way up from a week ago when 64% of respondents still believed Iowa would be heading to Indianapolis. Of course, 63% of the fans also thought Iowa would win in Madison last week. The loss there certainly turned the tide.
As for the rest of this season, most fans now expect the Hawkeyes to lose 1-2 more games. The most common response was two more losses, garnering 39% of the vote, followed by one loss at 26%. No more losses and three losses tied with 14% each while 7% of you expect Iowa to lose every game the rest of the way. I bet you’re fun at parties.
While fans are largely calling for at least one more loss, more than two-thirds of respondents don’t expect it to come this week.
The Hawkeyes are set to kick off at 6pm CT in Evanston on Saturday. The critical matchup will be broadcast on Big Ten Network.