It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the odds are now stacked against Iowa to win a Big Ten title this year.
Playing against Ohio State for a conference championship is hard enough.
But playing against Ohio State, in Columbus, with a redshirt freshman quarterback making his first start, along side a true freshman running back, to go along with a third-string punt-return-by-committee, and a defensive coordinator having health issues...that's what some might call a nightmare.
Las Vegas has the Buckeyes favored by 17 points. Every sportscaster, sideline reporter, writer, blogger, and forum troll outside of the state of Iowa has Ohio State winning this game big. Even a good portion of the Hawkeye Nation anticipates defeat.
It's a good thing the Hawkeyes play Six Seconds of Hell defense.
Norm Parker's mantra is simple: each play lasts about six seconds, so focus and play hard for each six second play.
"The premise is that you're only out there for six seconds so you might as well bust your butt the whole time," explains senior linebacker Pat Angerer in a Quad City Times article.
Angerer has taken Parker's words to heart.
As a result, this year he has earned a placed on CBSsports.com's midseason all-America team, been named Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week, Big Ten Player of the Week, Linebacking Performer of the Week by the College Football Performance Award, and Lott Trophy Impact Player of the Week.
Angerer's 106 tackles on the year have him second in the Big Ten, and fourth nationally.
He isn't the only member of the defense racking up the numbers and honors.
Defensive end Adrian Clayborn has been named Big Ten Player of the Week on special teams and defense this year, in addition to being named AT&T All-America Player of the Week after his punt block for touchdown against Penn State.
Clayborn is tied for second in the Big Ten in sacks, and tied for 15th nationally. He is tied for fourth in the Big Ten in tackles for loss, and tied for 12th in the nation.
He also might lead the nation in most quarterbacks knocked unconscious.
Safety Tyler Sash won Big Ten co-defensive honors after Iowa’s win at Iowa State, and Big Ten Player of the Week after the Indiana game.
Sash is first in the Big Ten in interceptions, and tied for third nationally.
As a team, the Hawkeyes' defense has had six Big Ten Players of the Week this season and currently sit 13th in the nation in scoring defense. Four Hawkeyes rank in the Big Ten top five for passes defended and rank in the top 10 in forced fumbles.
Kirk Ferentz and Parker have turned Iowa's defense into a well-oiled machine.
This from a guy who had to have another toe surgically removed this past summer after an infection formed, and who has been coaching from the press box lately.
Parker, who suffers diabetes, also had a toe removed in 2004 for a similar infection. Coincidentally, the Hawkeyes won a Big Ten championship that year.
Just remember, all Iowa really needs to win a Big Ten championship is Six Seconds of Hell .
This article is also featured on IowaHawkeyes.Net , a nerd's blog dedicated to all that is Hawkeye.