After hearing last week that they were left out of the preseason Coaches Poll, the Iowa Hawkeyes learned today that they would be starting the season unranked in the AP poll as well. This marks the first time the Hawkeyes have been left out of both preseason polls since the 2018 season.
Nick Saban loves to turn the littlest bit of “criticism” into fuel for the Crimson Tide on an annual basis. A few years ago he expressed what has become one of the most well known phrases in recent college football history “Rat Poison.” Now Nick has several different kinds of rat poison analogies. Here’s hoping that Captain Kirk sees a rankings snub as “yummy” rat poison.
Here’s where the Hawks stand in the eyes of both polls.
Rank: NR (third team receiving votes)
The Hawks are the third team receiving votes outside the top 25 in the AP trailing both Texas (seriously?) and Tennessee. Wisconsin is the only West division team ranked coming in at #18 as well as Hawkeye opponents Michigan (#8) and Ohio. St (#2). The last time Iowa entered the year unranked in the AP after ending the previous season ranked was 2003. Let’s let that be reason for optimism as the Hawkeyes finished that season 10-3.
USA Today Coaches Poll:
Rank: NR (first team receiving votes)
First off, some goober out there gave Texas a first place vote so all credibility is immediately lost.
Iowa is seen in a little bit more positive light in the coaches poll coming in as the “first team out”. Penn. St follows directly behind the Hawkeyes with Tennessee after. The same three 2022 opponents are ranked in the AP as well with Wisconsin being ranked lower at #20, Michigan ranked higher at #6, and the Buckeyes staying steady at #2. Side note, Iowa is tied for 23rd with Arkansas for all time preseason Coaches poll appearances at 26.
What Does It All Mean?
At the end of the day, preseason polls are meaningless, especially in the age of the College Football Playoff. Preseason polls are merely a calculated projection based off a myriad of factors that probably shouldn’t hold as much weight as they do.
In this blogger’s opinion, if Iowa had finished off a very beatable Kentucky team in the Citrus Bowl last year the two schools rankings would probably be flipped. The Pants believe that the Bowl loss coupled with an offense that ranked in the 100’s in almost every statistical category last year are the primary reasons the Hawks find themselves on the outside looking in. But don’t fret Hawkeye fans, at some point every season since 2014, Kirk and his men have found themselves ranked at some point during the season. Ferentz has also guided 5 iterations of Hawkeye teams to rankings in the final polls after starting unranked. With a veteran-led defense and a little maturation along the offensive line, here’s hoping 2022 will be added to that total.
Let us know where YOU think Hawkeyes should be ranked in the comments!