Big Ten Network analyst Tom Dienhart is sold on the Iowa Hawkeyes.
He’s picking Kirk Ferentz’s team to finish first in the Big Ten West Division.
“Yes, Iowa over Wisconsin and Nebraska, the other two schools that appear to have strong cases to win the division,” Dienhart wrote. “This looks like a vintage Hawkeyes squad capable of recapturing the glory the program enjoyed in the early- and mid-2000s.”
Why Iowa? Dienhart loves the Hawkeyes’ physicality.
“Optimism for Iowa begins with the play of lines on both sides of the ball,” he wrote. “Football is about the trenches. And the Hawkeyes may have an unmatched set of offensive and defensive lines.”
Dienhart isn’t blind to the Hawkeyes’ possible concerns. He noted that linebackers and receivers are areas of development. And “depth also is a worry along the offensive line and in the secondary at safety,” Dienhart wrote.
Most of the other Big Ten media haven’t been so fast to jump on the Iowa bandwagon. Ferentz was asked just five questions in six minutes during Monday’s Q&A session in Chicago. It may have been because Ferentz was the last coach to speak. It may also have something to do with preseason perceptions.
The Hawkeyes are bona-fide contenders in the Big Ten’s West Division, but most pundits feel the balance of power tilts toward the East Division.
A Big Ten media poll, conducted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, picked Iowa to finish second in the West, behind Wisconsin.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football