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Hawkeyes ranked No. 21 in ESPN’s ‘Way-Too-Early’ football poll

[ 0 ] January 17, 2014 |

The Iowa football team has landed the 21st spot on ESPN’s “Way-Too-Early Top 25″ poll.

Here is what ESPN has to say about the Hawkeyes:

Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock makes a pass during the Outback Bowl victory against LSU on Jan. 1. (Bryon Houlgrave/The Register)

Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock makes a pass during the Outback Bowl victory against LSU on Jan. 1. (Bryon Houlgrave/The Register)

After going from 4-8 to 8-4 this past season, the Hawkeyes might be ready to move back to the upper echelon of the Big Ten. But coach Kirk Ferentz is going to have to replace three very productive linebackers and two starting defensive backs from a unit that ranked in the top 10 in scoring defense, allowing only 18.9 points per game. On offense, quarterback Jake Rudock returns after throwing for 2,383 yards with 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He looked more comfortable in a hurry-up offense in the middle part of the season. Tailback Mark Weisman is also coming back after running for 975 yards with eight scores, and left tackle Brandon Scherff decided to return for his senior season, instead of entering the NFL draft. Like Wisconsin, the Hawkeyes should benefit mightily from an unbalanced Big Ten schedule. Iowa doesn’t play Michigan, Michigan State or Ohio State during the regular season.

ESPN’s rankings include five teams from the Big Ten —  No. 5 Michigan State, No. 13 Ohio State, No. 14 Wisconsin, the Hawkeyes and No. 24 Michigan. Of the other four, Wisconsin is the only team Iowa has to play in 2014. And that game will be at Kinnick Stadium on Nov. 22.

Here are the complete rankings:

1. Florida State

2. Oregon

3. Auburn

4. Alabama

5. Michigan State

6. Oklahoma

7. UCLA

8. Georgia

9. Stanford

10. Baylor

11. South Carolina

12. LSU

13. Ohio State

14. Wisconsin

15. Texas A&M

16. North Carolina

17. Washington

18. Clemson

19. Notre Dame

20. USC

21. Iowa

22. Texas

23. Florida

24. Michigan

25. Louisville

And here is Iowa’s schedule for 2014:

Aug. 30 — Northern Iowa

Sept. 6 — Ball State

Sept. 13 — Iowa State

Sept. 20 — at Pittsburgh

Sept. 27 — at Purdue

Oct. 4 — Bye

Oct. 11 — Indiana (Homecoming)

Oct. 18 — at Maryland

Oct. 25 — Bye

Nov. 1 — Northwestern

Nov. 8 — at Minnesota

Nov. 15 — at Illinois

Nov. 22 — Wisconsin

Nov. 28 — Nebraska

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

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