The 2023 college football season left a lot to be desired, but nonetheless, there was a lot to be proud of. Cooper DeJean played at a Heisman level all year and cemented himself as a first round pick, returning defensive players like Sebastian Castro and Jay Higgins worked in tandem with the excellent mind of Phil Parker to deliver an amazing, brutal defense that took the world by storm, and last but not least, we got 10 wins.
10 is pretty solid.
Then, the downsides. I don't have to tell you how miserable the offense was this year. We all watched it. My hope for Deacon Hill to emerge as a breakout star was dashed completely even before the disaster of the B1G 10 championship game (and the bowl game which was arguably worse), and stars like Kaleb Brown and Jaziun Patterson couldn't get over the undeniable setback that was Brian Ferentz' play-calling.
If there is a single word to describe the offense this season, it would be stagnant. That or disappointment. I'll leave it up to you.
With all that being said, the 2023 season is over. We can leave it's many horrors behind and instead focus on the beauty (and horror) of the College Football Offseason, while being treated to the excellent Women's Basketball Team and the heavily underrated Baseball team (they're really good guys, watch a game or two). More importantly, however, we have a new OC in town.
While I have my concerns about Tim Lester, watching him in the press conference certainly gave me some hope. He seems calm and cool, and genuinely concerned with bettering the offense. As a former QB and AFL legend, Lester's stacked resume and experience should help the Hawkeyes create a more QB friendly system, encouraging the returning Cade McNamara to shine this coming season. Hell, he might even be able to turn Deacon Hill into a competent back-up. That or he might focus on Marco Lainez, who shined in the Cheez-It bowl, or even the incoming James Resar.
With Kirk Ferentz on retirement watch, however, this season may be the last gasp of a dying regime. Though many Iowa fans have called for Ferentz to retire for nigh on three years now, there won't be a dry eye in the house when he does. Most Iowa fans can hardly remember the age of Hayden Fry, and when I was born, we had just come off the Capital Bowl win against LSU. (Thank you, Warren Holloway, for bringing that ball into the endzone and me into the world).
As much as I want to see a new head coach, I don't know if I want to see Kirk go. I definitely don't want to see DeJean and Taylor go, but they're onto greener pastures. I can accept that. Hawkeye ball just won't be the same without the old mule. Stubborn as an ox, loveable as a puppy.
It's great to get back to writing here again. I wish all of you the best. If you've been reading these fanposts, I'm incredibly honored to have you here. It means the world to me. Happy Valentines day, and Swarm 24!