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Final Chapter of Iowa Football: A Tale of Two Seasons in 2010 0

Posted on December 29, 2010 by JA Allen

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…it was the season of Light…Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Iowa started strong led by Adrian Clayborn and Iowa's front four.

Redemption came at last in the Arizona desert where the first warning bell tolled against a predicted preeminent Iowa football season.

Iowa,who started college football in August as the media darling of the Big Ten, reportedly fielded one of the best defenses in the nation.  Indeed, Iowa’s front four proved to one of the best quartets in college football.

But even they needed help from the linebacker corps and the secondary to contain an assemblage of top-ranked quarterbacks who spread their opposing offenses, often picking apart even Iowa’s well-oiled defense.

Unfortunately for the Iowa D, the Hawkeye’s defensive coordinator, Norm Parker, was sidelined for the season in September after undergoing surgery to amputate his right foot, necessitated by complications of diabetes.

Furthermore mounting injuries practically decimated the Hawkeye linebacker corps as well as limiting or sidelining other key defensive personnel.

The first real chink, however, appeared in Tucson where the No. 24 Arizona Wildcats upset Iowa in an unusual game for the highly vaunted No. 9 Iowa Hawkeyes.

In the first five minutes Iowa endured a blocked punt  and an interception, sending Arizona up 14-0. Iowa scored a touchdown in the second quarter but Arizona returned the subsequent kickoff for 100 yards and another score—plus two field goals.  Arizona was up 27-7 at the half.

Scoring another touchdown in the third quarter, Iowa climbed seven points closer. The Hawkeye’s defense had clamped down hard on the Wildcats, holding them scoreless well into the second half.

In the fourth quarter another Ricky Stanzi pass added another seven, leaving Iowa trailing only 27-21. At that point Broderick Binns intercepted a Nick Foles pass and returned it 20 yards for a score to break things wide open. But Trent Mussbrucker’s PAT was blocked and the score remained tied at 27-27.

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5 Football Seasons More Disappointing than 2010 for the Iowa Hawkeyes… 3

Posted on December 10, 2010 by JA Allen

‘Twas the night before Christmas…

An Iowa Hawkeye Holiday Tale...

George Bailey felt bitterly disappointed at the hand life dealt to him through chronically forgetful Uncle Billy and mean-spirited Mr. Potter.

The proprietor of Bailey’s Savings and Loan ruefully regretted his life, wishing he’d never been born. It took a wayward angel to show George that he’d really had a wonderful life.

Once again it is the holiday season. That means that it is time to watch the overly sentimental film It’s A Wonderful Life directed by Frank Capra, starring Jimmy Stewart and Iowa native Donna Reed––as well as view an explosion of “bowl” games.

As some of us weep over the saccharine holiday tale, we recognize that now is the time for being thankful for family and friends.

For Iowa Hawkeye fans, it means being thankful for an Iowa team that gave us some thrilling moments in 2010, even if the whole season was not everything we had had hoped for.

As coach Kirk Ferentz pointed out once Iowa’s preseason ranking came out in August of 2010––It is not where you start but where you end that is important.

Iowa began the season ranked No. 9 in the 2010 AP Football Poll, and they ended the season unranked––except on the disappointment meter.

What happened?

There are any number of reasons that singularly or in concert contributed to the letdown Iowa suffered at the end of the season. No one will ever answer that question to the complete satisfaction of fans who dreamed of ultimate glory.

But take consolation in this. Iowa, 7-5, is going to play in a very prestigious Insight Bowl against a ranked opponent where the Hawkeyes have the ability to make a statement and regain some dignity lost during the 2010 season.

More importantly, remember, there were five seasons with greater disappointment for Iowa fans…

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