Wine Online: Supermen? - Hawkeye Sports Official Athletic Site
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Wine Online: Supermen?
Fast start bodes well...if history is any guide
DJK a 'Superman'?  George Wine says just maybe.
DJK a 'Superman'? George Wine says just maybe.
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Oct. 18, 2009


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    IOWA CITY, Iowa - Deep in the bowels of ancient Camp Randall Stadium there is a telephone booth. That's where Iowa's players went at halftime Saturday to slip Superman outfits under their black and gold uniforms.

    How else do you explain what happened at Wisconsin? In the first half the Hawkeyes played like Caspar Milquetoast. In the second half they played like King Kong.


    Before halftime the Badgers ran the ball up the gut, and down Iowa's throat. Afterwards, they could barely make it to the line of scrimmage. And after the sixth game this season that saw the Hawkeyes fall behind early, they scored all of their points in the second half of a 20-10 victory.

    As one of only two major college football teams with a 7-0 record (the other is Alabama), the Hawkeyes are moving into uncharted territory. There has never in the 121-year history of Iowa football been a team that started the season by winning its first eight games.

    Saturday night at Michigan State the 2009 Hawkeyes get a chance to be the first.

    Three other Iowa teams won their first seven games and -- is this a good sign? -- all won outright Big Ten titles. The 1921 and 1922 teams both played only seven games and won them all. The 1985 team won its first seven games before suffering its only loss of the regular season at Ohio State.

    There is a strong connection between the 1985 Hawkeyes and the current ball club. Kirk Ferentz, in his 11th season as Iowa's head coach, was in his fifth year as Hayden Fry's assistant in 1985. But there is little similarity between the two teams.





    It's far too early to get giddy over these Hawkeyes, who are finally getting some respect and made it into the Top Ten this week. They've got five Big Ten games remaining, two of them difficult challenges on the road (Michigan State and Ohio State). But with their grit, resilience and determination, they've got a shot at becoming the first Iowa football team to win its first eight games.


    The 1985 Hawkeyes went into the season as the Big Ten favorites with a lot of hype and star power. Quarterback Chuck Long decided to pull his name from the NFL draft and stay in college another year. Linebacker Larry Station anchored a solid defense and Ronnie Harmon was a dazzling running back.

    All three had tremendous seasons and were named first-team all-Americans. Long just missed winning the Heisman Trophy. A total of eight players on that ball club were first-team all-Big Ten. The team was ranked No. 1 in the nation three straight weeks.

    The 2009 Hawkeyes were under the radar in the pre-season. Nobody picked them for a high Big Ten finish. Maybe a bowl invitation, but not a conference contender. But this blue collar bunch has managed to grind out seven victories. Three have been in the Big Ten, and two of those have been on the road at stadiums where it is very hard to win.

    It's far too early to get giddy over these Hawkeyes, who are finally getting some respect and made it into the Top Ten this week. They've got five Big Ten games remaining, two of them difficult challenges on the road (Michigan State and Ohio State). But with their grit, resilience and determination, they've got a shot at becoming the first Iowa football team to win its first eight games.

    If they do that, they can then begin to focus on other things, like championships.

     

     

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