1. Expect many freshmen to play on defense. This is good news. Conventional wisdom tells us that the best time to play a freshman is when he's a sophomore. However, the great speed and athleticism of this class demands that a half dozen or so of the freshmen see action. Candidates would include Matt Roth, Chad Greenway, Abdul Hodge, Fabian Dodd, Antwan Allen, Adolphus Shelton and Ed Hinkel. Look for a lot of this group on special teams at first before working in to regular playing time on defense.
2. Brad Banks is a special kind of athlete. He is definitely one of the best 22 in terms of athletic ability. Therefore, he has to be on the field whether it is QB or wide receiver. He has feet so fleet and a rocket launcher for an arm. What do you do?
3. Jermelle Lewis leads the running backs in speed, agility drills and strength. Can significant playing time be far behind?
4. Five members of the incoming freshman class are viewed as multiple position athletes.
5. Coach Ferentz is very comfortable with the cornerbacks.
6. Ben Sobieski is ahead of schedule on targeted strength goals.
7. The Iowa Football weight room is the biggest football only weight room in the NCAA. The Bugeaters allow other sports to use their weight room.
8. Iowa is totally healthy except Babineaux (broken leg last spring), and Kelvin Bell (knee).
9. The offensive line should be by far the best in the Ferentz era. The size and strength is finally equivalent to an upper level Big Ten team. In addition, the experience gained the last two years with the make shift lines will pay dividends.
10. Special teams were a strong point for Iowa last year and will be even better this year. Kevin Worthy is a very good long snapper. Kicker Nate Kaeding should continue his late season performance. David Bradley should do an adequate job punting. C.J. Jones and Fred Russell will assist Hill returning punts and kicks. Expect several to be returned all the way. Defensive special teams, due to increased speed, will also produce some scoring this year.
11. Two years ago the team was physically punished by even Northwestern. Last year, we held our own. This year, the Hawks will employ the Xmas principal, "it's better to give than receive."
I'm beginning to look forward to Christmas. Are you ready for some football?
That's my take, but what do I know?