November 23, 2008
I use the term “nail biter” loosely. In reality, the Iowa Hawks showed up in Minnesota firing on all cylinders. The team we had waited to see all year long put on an exhibition for the Minneapolis crowd.
Coming off a few tough losses, the Golden Gophers have generally looked tough this season. The Hawkeyes have looked like a team with virtually unlimited potential, but have been shaky when it came to closing out games. Tonight they set the record straight with a 55-0 trouncing of Minnesota.
It could be argued that the Hawkeyes are the strongest four-loss team in the nation. With their biggest loss of the year being five points, it begs the question 'what if?' Are the Hawkeyes the middle-of-the-road team that lost three straight or are they the top 15 (possibly top 10) team that showed up the second half of the season? I like to believe they are the latter.
The Hawks could have laid down after their three straight losses, but they refused. They gave us five out of six wins to close out the season including a victory over No.3 Penn State and tonight’s punishing win over Minnesota. The Hawks refused to throw in the towel and demonstrated they were a force to be reckoned with.
Could the Iowa Hawkeyes have had a ten win season and a top ten finish—absolutely. The truth is they deserved it. Do the Hawkeyes have the potential to win the Big Ten next year? Without a doubt. Now is not a time to consider what could have been. It is time to savor our victories, and be proud of a team that demonstrated what it means to never give up.
Thanks to all of the Hawkeye players and coaches for hanging in there and making a season you should all be proud of. Thank you for sending the Metrodome off with a fitting end. The only thing that could have made the victory any sweeter would be to have seen Hawk fans carry the goal posts up the stairs one final time. Hawkeye fans can be tough critics, but I for one could not be more proud of the heart of this year’s team. You gave us one to remember. Welcome home Floyd!
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