It probably feels like it's been an eternity for a lot of the Iowa faithful but the Hawkeyes have been voted into the Top 25. It's the first time they've done so since the 2010 season. Iowa comes in at No. 23 in the Amway Coaches' Poll. The AP poll has yet to be released for this week.
The honor does not come as a surprise as Kirk Ferentz and company have began the season unblemished at 5-0, including signature victories over Pittsburgh at night inside Kinnick Stadium, and road wins at Iowa State, and most recently Wisconsin. The victory over the Badgers wasn't just any win, either, as Paul Chryst's group was ranked and had won the Big Ten West the previous two seasons.
The players are focused on much more but make sure to enjoy each win for 24 hours as well.
"It feels awesome," linebacker Josey Jewell said. "We have to remember there's a bunch of Big Ten games left the rest of the season. Not one game is going to be an easy win. You have to play the full 60 minutes every game. (Starting 5-0 and winning another trophy game) are both pretty important and we just relish in the moment."
"It meant so much," safety Jordan Lomax admitted. "We put so much hard work in. Nobody knows how hard we really work other than ourselves. Just starting in the offseason, and how much we harped on this win, and road games and trophy games (in particular). There's a lot of emotion built up. It shows we're moving in a positive direction. We're 5-0 and gaining confidence with every week."
Head coach Kirk Ferentz discussed his thoughts on the possibilty of being a Top 25 team immediately after yesterday's game. As expected, it doesn't carry much weight with him.
"If it happens, it happens," he explained. "I'll tell you we're not going to get too excited about it. If we're there in November, great. To me, statistics and rankings mean very little. I know we're into October now, but five weeks into it, it's hard to get excited about anything other than what we're doing as a football team."
Ferentz's players carry that same mindset. They have much loftier goals they'd rather reach.
"It means we're improving each and every week but also, we have to keep our foot on the gas," wideout Matt VandeBerg noted. "That's nice (possibly being a top 25 team). We're not overly concerned about that. We're just worried about the next one. We're taking it one week at a time. We're not looking down the road because that's when you don't play well."
"We got a goal this year," star cornerback Desmond King stated. "We want the Big Ten West and we want the Big Ten championship. Once the game is over, it's time to put it in the past and go on to the next one."