A Twitter poll conducted by Big Ten Network early in the game between Iowa and Indiana revealed all we need to know about the 2012 Iowa Hawkeyes. They asked fans to vote on which of the two teams will end the season bowl eligible; Iowa, Indiana, both or neither.
The results are irrelevant. The real issue is that Iowa is currently considered Indiana's peer in football. After I came to terms with that, the loss seemed almost secondary.
I came into this season of Hawkeye Football with just one personal goal, and I suspected this largely inexperienced team, loaded with question marks, would test that goal.
My goal was to exercise patience and remain positive no matter how much the team might struggle.
Over the course of this miserable season, I have written numerous calls for perspective from my fellow Hawkeye fans. I supported a struggling quarterback, called for understanding after a player arrest, defended a coach under fire and criticized fans for booing the team during an ugly loss to Penn State.
After losing to the Hoosiers in a sport that isn't basketball, the time has come to lose the rose-colored glasses. Iowa is staring down the barrel of its first losing season since 2000, and the context surrounding this failure of a campaign is far uglier than that faced by the 2000 Hawkeyes, who were on a distinct upswing that would lead to an Alamo Bowl victory, followed by perhaps the best three-year stretch in the history of the program.
Let's take a look at the winners and losers from the juggernaut in Bloomington.