Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Outrageously Bold Predictions: Iowa

This is a post where I will throw out some off the wall predictions. These predictions aren’t necessarily things that I think will happen but I wouldn’t be completely shocked if they did. Some of them are more outrageous than others.
Iowa will win the Big Ten Conference
The Hawkeyes face a much tougher schedule in 2009 but, in my opinion, they have the pieces in place to make a run. Iowa should be one of the teams in the hunt for the Big Ten title including Penn State and conference favorite Ohio State. If Iowa can escape with a win either at Ohio State or Penn State and avoid the catastrophic losses (2008 5 Turnovers at home against Northwestern) then they may have a legitimate shot. Losing the likes of Seth Olsen, Matt Kroul, Bradley Fletcher, Mitch King, and Shonn Greene amongst others surely won’t be easy. Hopefully the Hawkeyes can take the ‘next-man-in’ attitude and improve on their 9-4 2008 season. I see Iowa finishing no less than third in the conference, if not higher.
Jewel Hampton will rush for over 1,250 yards and be at least second team All-Big Ten
Jewel Hampton finished up the 2008 season with 463 yards on 91 carries. He also scored seven touchdowns and boasted an impressive 5.1 yards per carry. If Jewel Hampton would get as many carries in 2009 as Shonn Greene did in 08 (307), and he hypothetically maintained his 5.1 YPC average, than he would finish the season with 1,565 yards. But, you have to realize that most of Jewel’s carries were in mop-up duty against inferior teams. However, I still think that he is capable of putting up a similar YPC average against stiff competition when given the chance (ex= Outback Bowl). I do think that Jewel will be splitting more carries in 2009 with freshman Jeff Brinson, which will make it harder for him to get the amount of touches needed to put up gaudy numbers. Additionally, true freshman Brandon Wegher could be in the mix. But hey, weirder things have happened…..for example, if I said a year ago Shonn Greene would win the Doak Walker award, I would have been laughed at.
Derrell Johnson-Koulianos will become Iowa’s all-time leading receiver in 2010
Well, this one is more of a two year prediction. Currently, Iowa’s all-time leading receiver is Tim Dwight with 2,271 yards on 139 receptions. Johnson-Koulianos currently has 82 receptions for 1,121 yards over his two year playing career, which means if Johnson-Koulianos were to only match his numbers from his freshman and sophomore seasons than he would finish only 29 yards behind Dwight. Taking into account all factors including: remaining healthy for his final two years, continueing to improve under WR coach Erik Campbell, and gaining a trust with quarterback Ricky Stanzi, I could see this as a not so ‘off-the-wall’ possibility.
Amari Spievey will be 1st Team All-Big Ten and be on the Jim Thorpe watch list
Spievey burst onto the scene after a one year hiatus at Iowa Central Community College. Amari proved that he didn’t miss a beat by coming into camp and earning a starting spot (when most thought it would be Jordan Bernstein opposite Bradley Fletcher). In 2008 Spievey had 66 tackles, one forced fumble, and four interceptions including a 55 yard INT return for a touchdown against Minnesota. Spievey was also named to second team All-Big ten by the league’s coaches. I see him doing nothing but improving on these numbers in 2009, and perhaps gaining some national attention.

Keenan Davis will have a better true freshman season than Dominique Douglas
The sting of losing Dougie Fresh after his true freshman season is still a tough pill to swallow for Hawkeye fans. Douglas showed a lot of promise by grabbing 49 balls for 654 yards and two touchdowns during his true freshman campaign. I think Davis has the opportunity, barring a redshirt, to put up similar numbers in the 2009 Hawkeye offense. I see Keenan coming in and earning a starting spot, opposite DJK, by midseason. With an experienced Ricky Stanzi under center, the Iowa passing game should be even better in 2009.

Those are my outrageously bold predictions for the 2009 Iowa Hawkeyes. Obviously not all of these, perhaps not even one, will turn out to be accurate. But, it wouldn’t shock me if at least a couple were dead on. So, what do you think? Which is most likely to happen/least likely to happen? What are your ‘outrageously bold predictions’? Also, stay tuned for my OBP’s on the Big Ten conference, and all of college football.
Photos by Jim Slosiarek - CR Gazette - Hawkeyesport.com - Associated Press - Blackheartgoldpants.com (Respectively)

9 comments:

  1. Man, I really hope that bold prediction about Iowa is correct. I would love to have us win a conference title in a major sport and next year's my last chance. So come on Hawks, do one for me?

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  2. I like these bold predictions. Predictions 1, 2 and 5 are going out on a limb a bit, but they certainly could happen. It's unfortunate that Iowa has to travel to both Penn State and Ohio State. I think Iowa will be better than both, but winning in those two hostile environments will be extremely difficult. 6-2 usually isn't good enough to take the conference crown.

    But hey, at least we can talk about a possible Big Ten championship and not sound completely dilusional. It's gonna be exciting. How many days til kickoff?

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  3. I agree, it's great that Hawkeye fans can be optimistic again. The 2007 6-6 bowl-less season seems like ages ago already, doesn't it?

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  4. Seeing as it was one of the fastest recruiting classes Iowa has had in a long time, and considering some of those guys might make an immediate impact, i'm excited about a quicker iowa football team.

    if DJK continues to develop like that prediction, it'd be neat to see them be able to to have a deep threat finally, and be able to exploit that with explosiveness in the running game.

    should be fun.

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  5. Good point. I'm excited to see the passing game progress throughout the season. A more mature and experience Stanzi along with a will-be three year starter at WR, whatever the freshman can contribute (Davis, Cotton, potentially even Wegher), and good O-Line play should make for a more multi-faceted Iowa offense in 09.

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  6. It seems like almost every Big Ten team brought in faster recruiting classes. i'm kind of nervous to see what's going to happen with the expected drop off in pressure brought on by the absence of King and Kroul.

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  7. also, i'm in that picture with all the benjamins, but i'm just off to the side, you just can't see me. that was an awesome party, man.

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  8. i hope all of these come true and i think it will be awesome to see how good we truly can be after a great ending to last season. Sean I think you can sleep okay at night though. If this year follows suit with the rest of the Kirk era's teams, our lines will not be a problem. I think the next man in attitude fits really well with those posisitions on the Hawks, both offense and defense... that's my two cents!

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  9. I do not feel these predictions are outrageous, but realistic. The Hawks were so close this year in every game it was just a few plays that could have changed the tide of the entire season.

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