There is cautious optimism at Iowa and Iowa State as spring football comes to a close. After a 10-2 season and a third straight final ranking of number-eight the Hawkeyes could open next season in the top five. That’s not where coach Kirk Ferentz would put his team. He says all that speculation is predicated on what’s happened in the past and he says they’re proud of their past success. But, he says they’re not in the caliber of the top ten teams right now. Ferentz says in the spring of 2002 the coaches felt they had an outstanding team and Iowa went on to run the table in the Big Ten and play in the Orange Bowl. He says the last two years have been a little different as they’ve had some returning stars with some questions. Ferentz says if they end up in the loftier rankings, it’ll have been a building process. Ferentz says with questions in the running game and the loss of a standout defensive line the Hawkeyes have too many holes to fill to ce considered a pre-season top ten ball club.He says L-S-U who Iowa played in the bowl game has a lot of juniors coming back and is going to be extremely talented. He says they’re one example of the teams with a lot of experience coming back. Because of renovations to Kinnick Stadium the Hawkeyes will not have a spring game. Iowa State’s spring game is Saturday. The Cyclones have 15 starters back this springoff last year’s team that beat Miami of Ohio in the Independence Bowl. Iowa State coach Dan McCarney says they’re not as good as they were at the bowl game, but they are ahead of where they were last spring. He says workouts have been spirited, even though he says it’s not easy to play against each other all the time, but he says he’s pleased with the improvement.Nine starters are back on defense and McCarney says that unit is ahead of the offense at this point. McCarney says the defense has some real personality and talent, but he says they need more depth.
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