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Iowa Hawkeyes 2011 Football Preview Picks and Schedule
Iowa has been the model of consistency under Kirk Ferentz over the last decade. A couple of 6 win seasons but for the most part this team wins 9 to 11 games with regularity and looks primed to do so once again.
Iowa has some holes to fill, specifically at QB where they have to replace Ricky Stanzi. That job will go to junior James Vandenburg. Vandenburg is no stranger to pressure, having stepped in for an injured Stanzi in 2009 against Ohio State in what was the biggest game of that year for Iowa. They return 5 starters on each side of the ball, so plenty of new faces this year as far as starters go. With many teams that may be a concern, but it shouldn't be with the Hawkeyes.
The reason it shouldn't be a concern is because with Iowa, it's simply a system that works. There's nothing fancy here. It's just hard nosed, basic football. Iowa teams are built around the line on both sides of the ball. Last season the defense was 7th in the Nation in points allowed with 17 per game and 6th against the run. The offense was just ok, 57th overall and averaged 29 points per game. Overall the team was +13 in turnover margin.
Those stats sum up Iowa teams in general over the last decade. They're going to score 23-28 points per game and they're going to give up 13-17 on average and are going to be on the plus side of the turnover margin most years. It's fundamental football at it's best.
Looking at the 2011 schedule for Iowa, we can see no reason why this team can't win 10 games this year. For starters, there's no Ohio State and no Wisconsin on this year's dance card. Their toughest game looks to be at Penn State. They'll also have to play at Big 10 newcomer Nebraska to end the year, but they get Michigan and Michigan State both at home. It's a very manageable schedule. Expectations won't be as high as in year's past but this team should be every bit as good as last year's squad.
Online sportsbooks currently list Iowa at odds of 15/1 to win the Big 10 and that may very well be a price worth taking. With a break here and there and maybe an upset at Penn State, it's not out of the question that this team could be undefeated heading into the Nebraska game. Might be worth a 15/1 shot.
For another great Iowa Football Preview check out our friends at Betfirms
2011 Iowa Hawkeyes Football Schedule
9-3-11 TENNESSEE TECH
9-10-11 at Iowa State
10-8-11 at Penn State
10-29-11 at Minnesota
11-12-11 MICHIGAN STATE
11-19-11 at Purdue
11-25-11 at Nebraska (Fri.)
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