Good, but not great, seems to be the assessment of the Iowa football team heading into the 2014 season.
At least four preseason magazines have left Iowa out of their top-25 rankings, but just barely in two cases. Athlon Sports and Lindy’s both rank Iowa 26th nationally, while Phil Steele has the Hawkeyes as his 32nd-best team.
The Sporting News also doesn’t have Iowa ranked in its top 25.
“Iowa is a team that has a lot going for it — veteran quarterback, very good offensive line, forgiving Big Ten schedule — but it is not a team without concerns,” said Mitchell Light, executive editor for Athlon Sports. “The offense lacks a true difference-maker at the skill positions, and the defense must replace three solid linebackers who were very instrumental to last season’s success.
“This has the look of a team that should be in contention in the Big Ten West, but we don’t believe Iowa will be a legitimate threat to crash the top 10 at any point.”
Iowa returns eight starters on offense, including the entire backfield and both receivers, from a team that finished 8-5 last season, including 5-3 in the Big Ten.
The Hawkeyes also have what is considered a favorable schedule, considering they don’t play Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State or Penn State. Iowa also will face Wisconsin and Nebraska at Kinnick Stadium in the final two regular-season games.
Here is a photo gallery of Iowa’s projected starting lineup:
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football