HTO.com Beat: Hawks Waiting for Opportunity

Things continue to become more and more interesting for the Iowa Hawkeyes. With losses suffered yet again for the Sooners and Fightin' Irish, could the Hawkeye dream of playing Ohio State start becoming a reality? I take a look around the Hawkeye world to re-cap this past week.

Are many expecting USC to bypass Iowa in the BCS Standings this evening? Certainly if that happens, and Miami(FL) and Georgia both suffer losses, can you imagine the backlash the BCS will receive? USC is playing some of the best football in the country, but still suffered two early season losses, including one to Pac 10 Champion Washington State. Last year, many were disappointed to see Nebraska enter the National Championship not winning their own conference, would they honestly allow that to happen again?

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Does anyone believe that Miami(FL) may very well still remain ahead of Iowa if they suffer a loss to Virginia Tech? The lowest they would likely slip in both polls would be to fourth behind Iowa and USC, and their strength of schedule is still among the nation's best. Not many would be excited about an in-conference National Championship in most cases, but this Ohio State/Iowa match-up has already created a lot of momentum. You would have to believe Big Ten Commish Jim Delaney would be pushing hard to BCS pollsters to make the game happen.

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Who will be named "National Coach of the Year" some may ask? Tyrone Willingham's chances became slim to none with the disappointing effort against USC. Does this now mean Coach Ferentz is a lock to win the award? USC's Pete Carroll has now started to receive some recongition, but it will be a tragedy if this award is not given to Coach Ferentz. Is there a coach in the country that produced more with less? It will now be time for Iowa to receive its hard earned respect.

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Jumping into recruiting, Iowa is primed for one of its biggest recruiting weekends since Coach Ferentz arrived. QB Chris Leak, rated #2 in the nation by TheInsiders, will be on campus along with very good offensive talents in WR Brad Ekwerekwu, FB Scooter McDougle, and OL Luke Knauf. However, I heard from some very strong sources last week that the Hawks may have yet another surprise visitor this weekend. I cannot get into details at this time, but it does appear Iowa has re-opened the doors with one of its previous higher priorities.

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I am now ready to make my second recruiting prediction here on HTO.com Beat. Last week, I predicted Iowa's fortune in their RB recruiting, and this week I switch not to another position, but a different trio of prospects. ATH Preston Brown and DT Elijah Robinson have officially set their official visit for December 13th, and teammate DE Turk McBride is very likely to follow. I expect the Hawks will land at least one out of these three prospects by mid-January, and I believe it is a very good chance they could end up landing all three. Stay Tuned!

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Recruiting battles among coaches can always be interesting for fans to cover. Once again, the Hawks are faring well against former assistant Bob Elliot, now defensive coordinator at Kansas State. Bob has been handling the recruitment of Hawkeye commit JUCO CB Corey Reddick. After learning of Reddick's commitment, he informed Corey that Kansas State still wanted a visit and would be recruiting him very hard. However, it appears Coach Elliot's efforts may come up a little short with Corey informing HTO.com, "My decision is pretty much in the bag."

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The men's basketball team has already surprised many by starting the season 3-0. Glen Worley finally stepped up with his first big game, and Jared Reiner continued his steady play. This team is showing potential to be a scary team for many higher ranked opponents, but will have to find a consistent second and third scoring option. Chauncey Leslie appears to be the go-to-guy this year with his driving ability, and I believe this will lead to a lot outside jumpers for Mr. Horner. Jeff has a great stroke, and I imagine we'll see more from him on the outside as play continues.

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I also believe Iowa will improve its record to 4-0 after this evening against Florida State. Many expected Iowa to be faced with a 4-3 record heading into Iowa State, but I firmly believe they will still be undefeated at 7-0 for the big in-state clash. That also should help create a much better atmosphere for the rivalry game, which also happens to be another big recruiting weekend.


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