The Eye of the Storm

The Eye of the Storm

by Ben RobisonStaff Writer

With a 5-3 record, this year’s University of Iowa football team has been less than impressive. Sure, the first two wins came by substantial margins over non-BCS teams and the third was a win over Iowa State, but is it enough?

Iowa’s win at Indiana (45-9) snapped a three-game losing streak and marked Iowa’s first conference win of the season. The Hawks haven’t fared so well in Bloomington in the past couple of visits, but is it enough?

In Iowa’s three losses, the Hawks have played tough. All three losses have come at a margin of five points or less. Not bad considering they played two of those games on the road. But is it enough?

Last Saturday’s win over Wisconsin was huge. At one point in the season, Wisconsin was ranked tenth in the nation in the AP poll. A win in Kinnick Stadium is always great, but is it enough?

For me, Iowa football is not just about being a fan, it’s about being a friend. The first semester of my freshman year (2006), I was a student at the University of Iowa.

During my short stint there, I was a student manager for the track and field program. I lived in Hillcrest Hall with all of the incoming athletes. I had a solid group of about eight friends that I did almost everything with. One of those friends was Ricky Stanzi, now starting quarterback for the Hawks.

Growing up, I have always been an Iowa fan, and I always kind of knew that I was going to go there. Now, since I have somewhat been a part of the athletic department there, I feel closer to it. I feel like it is more than being a fan; it’s a part of me.

On Saturdays when I turn the TV on to watch my beloved Hawks, I am not only rooting for them to win, I am cheering on my friend. I was so much more than happy when Stanzi was named the starter over Jake Christensen. I felt proud to say that I knew him, and I truly believe the better man got the job.

Iowa’s win over Indiana kept Iowa’s bowl game chances alive. Iowa still has the heart of their schedule to play, the biggest of which is when the Nittany Lions of Penn State visit Iowa City on Nov. 8.

Hopefully last Saturday’s win over Wisconsin will set the tone for the rest of the season. The Hawks are now riding a two-game win streak, both in Big Ten play.

The problem is that Iowa is predictable. The Hawk’s offensive coordinator Ken O’Keefe has been in Iowa City for too long. Look around the NCAA, there are very few offensive coordinators who have been at the same job for ten years. Most of them-if they are good at their job-move on to be head coaches.

It’s not Iowa’s defense that has been a problem. It’s not Iowa’s players that have been a problem. It’s the play calling that is the problem. The offensive plays are predictable, and if Iowa is to salvage the season and reach a respectable bowl game, they are going to have to change something.

Iowa fans are some of the toughest fans in college football. As long as the Hawks win, everything is alright. But, if they start loosing, the fans turn quickly.

The football atmosphere in Iowa City is second to none, and I am proud to say that I have experienced it as a student and a life-long fan. I will stick with the Hawkeyes through the thick and thin-like the last three seasons-but right now, being 5-3 (2-2 in the Big Ten) just doesn’t seem to be enough.