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Wine Online: Whoa Nellie!
Sure, 2-0 is nice, but don't get too far ahead of yourselves, Hawk fans
Celebrations like this one could be a little harder to come by when n Iowa travels to Tucson this Saturday for a date with a very good Arizona football team.
Celebrations like this one could be a little harder to come by when n Iowa travels to Tucson this Saturday for a date with a very good Arizona football team.
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Sept. 13, 2010


IOWA CITY, Iowa --Maybe you've noticed a certain sameness in Iowa's two football victories this season. The Hawkeyes win the coin toss and receive the kickoff. Then they march smartly down the field and score a touchdown. Then they score again, and again, and again. Meanwhile their defense is unyielding, and the outcome is decided by halftime.

That was no surprise in the opening game against Eastern Illinois, but Iowa State was expected to put up a better fight. The Cyclones are coming off a season in which they won a bowl game. They were impressive in winning their opening game. Their coaches think this is a better team than last year's. So do the reporters who follow it.


And maybe it is. Maybe the Hawkeyes are not getting enough credit, although being ranked in the Top Ten is hardly an oversight. Just how good is this Iowa team?

Iowa State Coach Paul Rhoads positively gushed in his post-game comments about the Hawkeyes. He said their offense can run it and throw it with equal efficiency, their defense is hard to score on, and there is much to like about their special teams. He said they have no weakness and suggested they could contend for the national championship. Maybe he is blowing smoke, but he seemed sincere in his remarks.

Yes, Iowa is off to a fast start and was especially impressive in its 35-7 whipping of Iowa State. But let's wait awhile before going overboard on this team. There is a game coming up Saturday night at Arizona which could be Iowa's toughest test of the entire season. We'll know a lot more about the Hawkeyes after that one.





It's OK to applaud the Hawkeyes for two decisive victories, but keep things in perspective and don't get giddy. There are 10 games to go, most of them against good football teams. Some are very, very good.


Arizona returns 14 starters -- including a very good quarterback and a speedy running back -- from a team that finished second in the Pac-10 last season. It has won two games by big margins. Also, the game will be played two time zones away and start at 9:30 p.m. CDT, an hour when most Hawkeyes are in bed (well, maybe some). The quality of the opponent and the time of the game make this contest a huge challenge.

After that, some formidable Big Ten opponents await the Hawkeyes. October's schedule includes Michigan, Wisconsin and Michigan State, all off to fast starts, plus Penn State, whose only loss is to No. 1 Alabama. November's biggest tests appear to be Northwestern and Ohio State. The Big Ten looks like a very strong league this year.

It's OK to applaud the Hawkeyes for two decisive victories, but keep things in perspective and don't get giddy. There are 10 games to go, most of them against good football teams. Some are very, very good.

A year ago Iowa won 11 games, and many were nail-biters. This year the record is 2-0 and both wins have been routes, but tougher opponents are surely ahead. I'm guessing one of them is coming up at Tucson late Saturday night.

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