With the 2005 Iowa football season right around the corner, now is always a good time to toss our predictions. Jon Miller and Rob Howe did just that back in the Summer Issue of Hawkeye Nation magazine and we are going to share their thoughts with you here on the website. We are not just talking about wins and losses here...we take a stab at the score of each game as well as some anecdotes alone the way...
This story first appeared in the Summer Issue of Hawkeye Nation magazine, our annual Iowa football preview. On rare occasion, we will share a story that appeared in the magazine here on the website. That is not a regular practice, but from time to time we like to share the depth of detail that is included in each and every issue of the magazine to those of you who are not yet subscribers.
The Big Ten portion of Iowa's
2005 schedule is the most challenging of any would be title contender, as the
Hawkeyes travel to Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin
this year, plus they host Michigan and Wisconsin. Iowa avoids
playing Penn State
and Michigan State
while welcoming back Northwestern and Indiana
to the schedule. Iowa's
early season battle in Ames
against the Cyclones promises to be one of the better games in series history,
at least on paper. Rob Howe and Jon
Miller tackle Iowa's
entire 2005 schedule, game by game.
Sept. 3 Ball State, TBA
Series: First meeting
You didn't think I'd avoid a David Letterman reference, did you?
Maybe the school's most famous alum can do a Top 10 on why the Cardinals have
no shot to win this game. This will look a lot like the Utah State
game heading into the 2002 conference season. Score: Iowa 56, Ball State
Jon: The Hawkeyes take on yet another team from
the MAC to start a football season. I
really like Iowa's
mix of non-conference games this year, given how green they will be on the
defensive line. This one should be
another wax job. Score: Iowa 45, Ball State
Sept. 10 at Iowa
leads series 35-17
Last meeting (9-11-04):
The Cyclones enjoyed their five-year run, but Iowa has dominated this series and won two
in a row. Iowa State is poised for a big year, and as
we've said before, they put more stock into this game, whether they admit it or
not. A lot of people will pick this as an upset special. I can see it
happening, but I don't think it will. Iowa
possesses more talent. Score: Iowa 24, ISU 14.
Jon: This is going to be a fantastic game in this
year's installment of the Iowa Hatfield's vs. McCoy's. Dan McCarney gets his team sky high for this
game, while Kirk Ferentz prefers to view it as the next game on the schedule. Don't take that to mean that Iowa does not take this
game seriously, because they do. When
you finish in the Top 10 for three years in a row, every game is very
important, because you are in the hunt for a BCS bid. I promised myself after picking ISU to win by
one in Kinnick in 2002 that if I ever felt like this game would be decided by a
field goal or less, I would just go with Iowa. Score:
27, ISU 18 (three missed PAT's by the Clones).
Sept. 17 Northern Iowa, TBA
Last meeting (9-6-97): Iowa 66-0
Rob: Hey, anybody seen the Missouri
Chickens? They were supposed to be in this slot, but ran scared. Iowa has reeled off 11 consecutive wins in the Northern Iowa series after losing that 11-5 decision in
November of 1898. You remember it like it was yesterday, right? I'm not sure
what the match-ups were like on that day, but currently, it's pretty one-sided.
You'll hear how UNI has played ISU tough, and the in-state pride rhetoric
leading up to this one. Disregard it. This will look a lot like the Utah State
game heading into the 2002 conference season. Score: Iowa
49, UNI 0.
Jon: Missouri Chickens. I liked that line last year, and I still love
it. Funny how the Chickens are looking
to renew their series with Illinois
for four more games isn't it? But I
digress (and always will on this topic).
The last time Iowa
played UNI was in 1997 and Tavian Banks ran wild before a sellout crowd. Yes, it was a sellout. Hey, how about UNI vs. Ball State
for intrigue? Score: Iowa
51, UNI 3.
Sept. 24 at Ohio
State leads 42-14-3
Last meeting (10-16-04): Iowa
Rob: I would like it a lot better if
this game was being played Oct. 24. The Hawkeyes probably still will be working
out some kinks, and The Shoe is just a tough, tough place to play. Ohio State
circled this one after being handled pretty easily in Kinnick last year, and
the Buckeye fans will be fired up for a nationally televised game. Score: Ohio
State 20, Iowa 17.
Jon: It's been a long time since Iowa won at the
Horseshoe, in addition to that being a very rare occurrence. Since 1960, Iowa
is 2-17 in games played at Ohio
State. It was Hartlieb to Cook in 1987, and Iowa's dramatic win at
The Shoe in 1991 sans Tigerhawk emblems on their helmets, honoring those killed
in the campus shooting incident. Iowa is just 6-30-1
overall against the Buckeyes since 1960.
Like Rob, I feel that Iowa
would have a better chance of winning were this game played later in the
year. But that is not how it was drawn
up. Score: Ohio
State 27, Iowa 17.
Oct. 1 Illinois,
Last meeting: Iowa
Rob: There's no truth to the rumor that
Jon Beutjer is returning for a seventh year. It's too bad because that might
have been the only item of interest on this day in Iowa City. Ron Zook might turn around the
Illini, but it won't be happening for them this quick. A
perfect bounce-back game for the Hawkeyes. Score: Iowa 34, Illinois 10.
Jon: Rumor has it that Ron Zook is very
concerned with how to contain the running prowess that belongs to one Kyle
Schlicher, so don't expect Schlicher to do much on the ground in this
game. The good news is that Zook will
not have had enough time to do much of anything with the Illini program he
inherited from good guy Ron Turner, and Iowa
will wash away the pain from Columbus
with its first league win. Score: Iowa 27, Illinois 13.
Oct. 8 at Purdue, TBA
Series: Purdue leads 44-30-3
Last meeting: Iowa
Rob: As with the Ohio State
game, I would feel much better if this one was later in the season. But it's
not, and the Hawkeyes will have to cut down on the mistakes that have cost them
at Ross-Ade in recent memory. The freewheeling Boilermaker offense will be
licking its chops at the thought of Iowa's
inexperienced D-line coming to town. I don't like the thought of that. Score: Purdue 24, Iowa 20.
Jon: No team has had Iowa's number over the last four years of
the Kirk Ferentz era, save Purdue. The
teams have split the last four games in this series 2-2, with each team winning
at home. Purdue's home wins have been
more convincing than Iowa's,
and the Hawkeyes have had to rely on heroic efforts to get the job done,
especially in 2002. Purdue might be the
team that Iowa's
players respect the most. Score: Purdue 23, Iowa 10.
Oct. 15 Indiana, TBA
Last meeting (10-19-02): Iowa 24-8
Rob: Terry Hoeppner is going to find
out quickly that things were pretty nice in Oxford, Ohio
after a few weeks of trying to get the hapless Hoosiers to compete in the Big
Ten. Iowa will find it delightful to have Indiana back on the
schedule and rebound nicely from the tough road loss at Purdue. Score: Iowa 38, Indiana 13.
Jon: The schedule makers certainly helped Iowa by lining up the Illini post Ohio State
and the Hoosiers post Purdue. Indiana football has a
long way to go, and though Hoeppner is a very good coach, he does not walk on
water. Expect no miracles on this
Saturday in October: Score: Iowa
41, Indiana 9.
Oct. 22 Michigan,
Last meeting (9-25-04): Michigan
The Wolverines benefited from playing an Iowa team in transition last fall, but the
Hawkeyes should be settling into their identity at this time of the season. Michigan no longer intimidates the Black and Gold the way
that it used to, and Iowa
believes it should beat this perennial power every time out. Yeah, Henne and
Hart are the real deal, but Michigan
lost a ton of experience, and the new guys might not understand how tough it is
to play in Kinnick. Score: Iowa 27, Michigan
will be coming off what I expect to be a tough game against a resurgent Penn State
program the week before in Ann Arbor,
so they will not have had the chance to look ahead to this game. The Hawks have dropped the Wolverines two in
a row in Kinnick, and I expect Iowa
to run it's home winning streak to 23 games win
another win over Big Blue. 20 years plus
three days since Rob Houghtlin kicked his way into history, I like Kyle
Schlicher to do the same in 2005. Score: Iowa 30, Michigan 27.
Nov. 5 at Northwestern, TBA
Last meeting (11-9-02): Iowa 62-10
Chances are good that this won't resemble the massacre in Evanston from '02, but
the ‘Cats must play a near perfect game to win this one. Norm Parker's defense
seems to match up well with Northwestern's offensive schemes, and the Wildcats
usually struggle to stop the Iowa
attack. Northwestern quarterback Brett Basanez is one of the better players in
the league, but he'll need a super-human effort to end a three-game losing
streak in this series. Score: Iowa 30, Northwestern
Jon: I don't
like playing Northwestern on the road and I am very glad that this game is
later in the year. Ohio
State dropped a night game in Evanston last year early
on in the league season as their green defensive line was learning the
ropes. Iowa's defensive line should have grown up
by now, and this is the chance to spread their wings. As Rob said, Norm Parker knows how to play
against spread offenses, and Iowa's
three-speedy linebackers should shine in this game. Score: Iowa 37, Northwestern 16.
Nov. 12 at Wisconsin,
Last meeting: Iowa
After losing five consecutive games in the series, the Hawkeyes have
won the last three. Don't think that fact will be lost on the Cheese Heads. But
as much as Wisconsin
would love to exact some revenge for recent failures, the Badgers may have lost
more talent than anyone else in the league. This by no means will be an easy
one for Iowa,
but it's money time, and when it is, I'll take Coach
Ferentz and the boys. Score: Iowa 24, Wisconsin 21.
Randall will look a lot different than
it did two years ago when Iowa
spoiled Bucky's shot at an Outback Bowl bid and punched their own ticket. The stadium renovations are completed, but
the noise will not be enough to slow down Iowa's offense at this point of the
season. The Hawkeyes should be running
on all cylinders now that it's November, which has been a calling card under
Ferentz. Bret Bielema will have fewer
chess pieces to work with this year on defense, and Iowa will put together a three-game winning
streak. Score: Iowa
31, Wisconsin 13.
Nov. 19 Minnesota,
Last meeting: Iowa
Floyd has forgotten what Minneapolis
looks like, having been in Iowa
since '01. And it looks like Floyd will be spending another year at his current
residence. The Gophers find a way to tease their fans each September before
imploding in the conference. Until that trend changes, and they figure out how
to play defense, I'll keep expecting it. Hey, whose
got those goal posts anyway? Score: Iowa 41, Minnesota
Jon: Will this be the year that Minnesota finally
defeats and upper division team in the Big Ten?
It's been nearly five years since they have done that,
and their impressive (albeit cupcake induced) non-conference records have been
a house of cards. That might not be
totally fair, as Minnesota has lost two
gut-wrenching games against Michigan
the past two seasons that seemingly turned their season around the wrong
way. RB Lawrence Maroney will challenge Iowa's defensive line,
but last year's Hawks gave up more than 300 yards on the ground against the
Gophers and still came away with a win.
I don't think they will have to have five field goals from Schlicher to
keep Floyd grazing on the Iowa City
turf. Score: Iowa 34, Minnesota 24.
Rob's Season Prediction:
9-2 (6-2 in the Big Ten)
Jon's Season Prediction:
9-2 (6-2 in the Big Ten)