The Iowa Hawkeyes have been picked to finish second in the Big Ten Conference pre-season poll. The Hawkeyes are coming off an 11-2 season that included a win over Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl. Ohio State is favored to win a sixth consecutive league title.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz at the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon in Chicago says Ohio State has just down a “tremendous job” the last five years and have traditionally been an outstanding program. Ferentz says if you are going to win the conference then you are going to have to find a way to compete with the Buckeyes.

The Hawkeyes won a series of close games in 2009 and Ferentz says they will need more of that this season if they hope to make another run at a Big Ten championship. He says he expects all the games to be that way this year as they are in a competitive conference. Ferentz says they have to keep an eye on what is in front of them first, especially in the next couple of weeks as they move forward.

The Hawkeyes open the season at home on September fourth against Eastern Illinois.