Well, well, well. That was quite a display of efficiency the Iowa football squad displayed against a South Carolina team that showed all the poise and precision of a home video during an earthquake.
I said it at the end of my column that should be posted Thursday night on http://www.hawkeyebowlgame.com, and I’ll elaborate here. I think Iowa is one of the 10 best teams in the nation.
Where will the Hawkeyes be ranked in the Associated Press poll late next Thursday night after the BCS title game? Probably 21st or 22nd, maybe 23rd.
But if you went on how teams were playing in November into December and January, can you honestly name 10 teams that are better?
The obvious ones on their bodies of work: Florida, Oklahoma, Alabama, USC, Penn State, Texas, Texas Tech. That’s seven. Although, you take Penn State with a grimace the way it fell so far behind in the first half of the Rose Bowl against USC.
Add Utah if it plays Alabama close in the Sugar Bowl. If Ohio State isn’t routed by Texas, you probably have to include the Buckeyes. I’d certainly include 11-2 TCU, as well.
OK, that’s 10 if Utah and Ohio State hold up their ends. And 11 if Cincinnati wins over Virginia Tech in Thursday night’s Orange Bowl, though I’d take the Hawkeyes over the Bearcats on a neutral field 10 times out of 10. But a BCS league-champ with a 12-2 record has earned its place.
But that’s it. A 10-3 Georgia? Not sold. A 10-3 Oregon? Very good, but I think the Ducks-Hawks game would be a coin-flip. If Ole Miss upsets Texas Tech Friday in the Cotton Bowl, I rank the Rebels on an even keel with Iowa.
You know how this works, though. Those four losses hang over Iowa’s heads, and not being ranked all year makes it hard for the Hawks to ascend very far once they do get into next week’s rankings.
No matter. They had the bowl scene all to themselves for the first two hours Thursday and wasted little time showing America (and poll voters) what they had.
They’ll get a nice spot in August’s preseason Top 25 for the 2009 season. What they do with that is up to them instead of the pollsters.