2022- Better Team, Worse Record?

littlez

HR Heisman
Jan 29, 2003
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Defense wins championships. Sure, we have lost four guys that were big contributors in VanValkenburg, Koerner, Hankins, & Belton. That hurts, but you had young players at every one of those positions get some experience last year.

I think the defensive line is going to be scary. First, Lee, Black, Jones, Shannon are all going to be bigger and stronger and they performed extremely well. Next, you have Waggoner, Van Ness, Craig, Evans, and Hurkett who all played a ton last year at DE. We are going to need Van Ness, Craig, and Hurkett to improve the pass rush, but I think that happens. Plus...I have a feeling someone we aren't talking about is going to emerge...maybe Reames or someone off the radar.

We are deep on the DL and we have options to get to the QB. I can't wait to watch these guys...Black over 300, Lee and Jones in the 290s...and our edge rushers a year better.

The linebackers are all back...and I think it could be one of the best units in the Country...period. All good.

You know damn well Phil with two very good returning starters, plus two guys, Harris and Roberts who saw significant time...we will be fine in the secondary. Then you have the recruits...Nwankpa seems like a perfect fit to play the cash or one of the safety spots. Perfect.

On offense, we just need to shore up the OL. Petras has shown, if you give him time he can get in a groove and be effective. If Padilla or Labas beat him out...great...all the better. The big thing is the OL though. It has to be better...much better. Hopefully guys like Volk, Mylenski, & Elsbury can make the strides necessary. If Ince and Britt can stay healthy...they are options to fill out the OL with Richman and Colby. If we can land the Cornell transfer and he's as good as advertised...that's positive.

The good news on the OL is that Richman, Colby, Ince, Dejung, Britt, and Plumb have all played a ton. Add in the Cornell transfer and you have experience...they just need to improve over the next 8 months.

The best news in all of this...our OL will have to face one of the best DLs in the B10 every week in practice. That's positive.
I like the optimism but I think if you are going to beat the better teams next year we’re going to have to get better QB play. Period. We know we will be solid defensively, but Petras (or whoever) just has to play better. It’s that simple.
 

obfuscating

HR Heisman
Jan 8, 2016
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This will be my one pessimistic post for the day (I can't say week because I don't remember everything I posted over the past week........but I digress).

Given what Iowa is returning, and could return if Linderbaum comes back, along with the potential emergence of some of younger players/recruits, it's very realistic to think that next year's team will be a better overalls product than this year's.

The defense may take a slight step back as a group, but the offense certainly can't be any worse than they were. At the very least, and this would still be highly unfortunate but also extremely likely given the track record of those in charge, the offense remains the same giant piece of panda poo that it is.

So if we improve in certain areas and remain serviceable in others, suffice it to say the team should be a better-looking team overall.

The problem is that schedule, which again on paper looks even tougher than the 2021 schedule looked going into the season.

It is very possible that this team could struggle to win 7 games against this schedule and not just because we like to make every game as interesting as pulling finger nails clean off your hand can be...........

Preseason, we'll have two Top 10 teams on the schedule assuming Michigan gets overhyped again, despite what they're losing, and at least another Top 25 team in Wisconsin. We may also have another one or two ranked in Minnesota and Purdue depending on how much voters like them and how those teams do throughout the season.

South Dakota State is a top 5 FCS program, Nevada is probably the most high profile MWC team we've played in years if not decades, even if they were a modest 8-5 this past year, and Iowa State is still gonna Iowa State, even though they'll lose just about everyone of consequence next year.

I just get the feeling that our luck from always living on the edge despite our ultra play it safe counterintuitive philosophy that's seen us win most of our close games these past several years, is finally gonna turn on us. We already saw it to some degree against Kentucky. I expect more of that from all our "close games" and less Penn State endings where the defense does enough to help us hold on, this upcoming season, unfortunately.

Sort of similar to the 2005 season where we had enough talent to earn a share of the Big Ten title, but the ball bounced the wrong way enough times and we somehow wound up with a 7-5 record.

Anyways, that's my pessimistic outlook for 2022. Where do you stand a little less than 8 months from the start of next year?.............
"but the offense certainly can't be any worse than they were" - BF says hold my beer...
 

NI hawk

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It's also reached a point where I think many Iowa fans are not again ever expecting a loss to Iowa State, Minnesota, Illinois, or Nebraska. Eventually, that will change-- at least by a little.
It sure has been fun.
 

SDHawkDoc

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Jan 27, 2013
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Defense wins championships. Except this past one where uga doesn't win that game without some pretty spectacular offensive weapons, or the years before with 'bamas multiple first round wrs, or clemsons superstars on offense, etc.

As we had a front row seat to the show this year, a really good D combined with a sh!tty O gets 10 wins, getting their asses kicked 3 times and a close mid tier bowl loss.
 

SDHawkDoc

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I have no reason at this point to think they'll be much better on offense. The best O-lineman, by a huge margin, has moved on to the NFL. The players that are left will need to make big improvements for the line to become middle of the pack in the B1G. I fully expect the same qb to be starting. He will need to make massive strides forward to be an average B1G qb and this is after already being in the program for multiple years and having started many games. Can these things happen? Possibly. Is it likely? Nope.

The D and special teams play should again be good enough to get them above .500. What looks like increased difficulty in crossover league games and the anchor that is the Iowa excuse for an offense knocks at least a win or two off. 7-9 wins.
 
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The Deplorable Sleeping Dog

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I like the optimism but I think if you are going to beat the better teams next year we’re going to have to get better QB play. Period. We know we will be solid defensively, but Petras (or whoever) just has to play better. It’s that simple.
This is the basic question to next year's success.

Nothing will matter if the QB play does not substantially improve.
 
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littlez

HR Heisman
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so the Hawks this season were basically the Steelers. And most years. Try to hang in there, struggle on offense, try to win the turnover battle and just basically play solid football. And that will get you wins, and in Pittsburgh's case it helped them make the playoffs. and Tomlin has never had a losing season. However when they play a team like the Chiefs that can actually score and it takes 28 pts to win there is zero chance to win. We have to find a way to be better on offense. And it starts w/the quarterback. We know we are good on defense. Every single year. We are going to be good at tight end. Our receivers are average. Hopefully we can get a little above average. I actually think we will be better at running back. But we can't have Big Ben back there. It's an offensive killer.
 

obfuscating

HR Heisman
Jan 8, 2016
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so the Hawks this season were basically the Steelers. And most years. Try to hang in there, struggle on offense, try to win the turnover battle and just basically play solid football. And that will get you wins, and in Pittsburgh's case it helped them make the playoffs. and Tomlin has never had a losing season. However when they play a team like the Chiefs that can actually score and it takes 28 pts to win there is zero chance to win. We have to find a way to be better on offense. And it starts w/the quarterback. We know we are good on defense. Every single year. We are going to be good at tight end. Our receivers are average. Hopefully we can get a little above average. I actually think we will be better at running back. But we can't have Big Ben back there. It's an offensive killer.
We have old Big Ben back there, not accurate and cant run.