Kirk Ferentz did a good job of not only winning eight games last season at Iowa, he also calmed the Hawkeyes faithful and saved his job.
That said, what will the Hawkeyes do this season for an encore. There is plenty of questions about this team, but there should be improvement. Solid play at quarterback will help as well a schedule that favors the team in the second half of of the season.
Here the biggest questions that must be answered in 2014. Information that was obtained in this article comes from Hawkcentral.com.
Can this university sellout a home game this season?
It's unfortunate but it is also a growing trend in college football. Even with the rebirth of the team and the rise within the Big Ten, sellout out home games has been an issue. Home games against Iowa State, Wisconsin and Nebraska. One of those matchups should result in a capacity crowd at Kinnick Stadium. The Hawkeyes failed to draw more than 70,000 to any game last season, after having a string of 30 consecutive sellouts end in 2012. It’s not just an Iowa thing. Schools across the country are seeing a dip in attendance.
What will the quarterback situation be this year?
Unlike other schools in the conference facing issues behind center, Iows looks pretty solid. A year ago at this time, Jake Rudock was an unknown. He went on to win the starting job and complete 59 percent of his passes for 2,383 yards and 18 touchdowns, with 13 interceptions. He wasn’t flashy, but he was reliable. C.J. Beathard is a highlight waiting to happen, but let’s not forget he was just 9-of-27 passing in limited action, with one touchdown and two interceptions. If a true quarterback competition develops, it would a be a bad sign for the Hawkeyes.
How does the team deal with William Lowe’s rhabdomyolysis suit?
Just like the story on hawkcentral.com says, for better or worse, these things tend to drag out. So at this point, it’s a back-burner topic. And nobody should be surprised by Lowe’s lawsuit. With 13 players involved in the infamous 2011 workout, it was probably only a matter of time before somebody ended up in court. I’m sure Ferentz doesn’t want to be reminded about rhabdogate, but it’s more of an irritant than a distraction.
How many games can this team win?
I agree with the assessment of nine games. The 8-5 record last season was a starting point of things improving. As we all know in college sports anything short of a national title is bound to irk some diehards. Especially those who harp of Ferentz’s salary and ignore the challenges of coaching a program rooted in a shallow recruiting pool. I think 9-3 is a reasonable goal. None of Iowa’s games is unwinnable, but roadies at Pitt and Minnesota could be tricky. Even matchups at Purdue and Illinois could be too close for comfort. And you can expect some sort of toe-stubber at home.