If the Iowa Hawkeye football team returns to prominence next season it will do so with a bunch of unheralded players. The Hawkeyes completed a disappointing 7-6 2014 season by getting dismantled by Tennessee in the Taxslayer Bowl.
Publisher and college football prognosticator Phil Steele they will enter the new season “under the radar.” He says they don’t have any big name players and he sees a typical underrated Iowa team under Kirk Ferentz that tends to rise up and play well.
Steele says while the schedule is not as soft as last year it is still easy enough that the Hawkeyes could increase their win total. He says the only games where they will be underdogs are at Wisconsin, Northwestern and Nebraska, and Steele says they could improve on last year’s record. He says they could even be favored in 8 or 9 games this year.
Steele says improvement in special teams play could be enough to help the Hawkeyes regain their winning ways. Iowa finished next to last in the Big Ten in punting last season and dead last in punt return yardage.
Steele says the Iowa offense could produce more big plays as he says quarterback C.J. Betherd could throw the ball down the field more often and that could lead to more big plays.
Phill Steele’s College Football Preview Magazine will be on the newsstands July first. Iowa opens the season at home on September fifth against Illinois State.