Michigan 42, Iowa 17.
What more is there to say, really?
The Wolverines shredded Iowa's defense for 513 yards on Saturday to officially end Iowa's hopes of somehow becoming bowl eligible this season. Backup quarterback Devin Gardner accounted for six touchdowns as the Hawks dropped to 4-7 on the season with a Black Friday matchup with Nebraska now rendered virtually meaningless in the eyes of many fans.
It will be Senior Day Friday with a sea of red likely washing over 70,500 seat Kinnick Stadium.
Really, what do you say?
Beat writers much more talented and more in tune with the program than I have sliced and diced the 2012 Hawkeyes in much the same fashion Gardner and the Wolverines did Saturday. Problems persisted in all three phases of the game from the non-conference portion of the schedule through the team's current five-game Big Ten skid.
Quarterback James Vandenberg has taken the majority of blame for Iowa's sideways season, but the senior from Keokuk was only one moving cog in a machine in need of much more than a tuneup. Popular perception is backup quarterback Jake Rudock should have been given a chance to pilot the team at some point this season but Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz kept repeating the mantra that Vandenberg gave the team the best chance to win (which remains true).
Iowa's problems run much deeper than Vandenberg, who actually turned in a solid performance on the road Saturday. The perception of a soft schedule in 2012 overshadowed the loss of impact players like Riley Reiff and Shaun Prater. Many of Vandenberg's 25 touchdown passes last season went to Marvin McNutt, another player not in uniform in 2012.
Stability at the running back position was a pipe dream.
New offensive and defensive coordinators and a staff-wide shuffling of duties was glossed over by many, including the media.
Kirk Ferentz said he had a team capable of winning every game it played this season but also capable of losing each one as well when he met with members of the media in Chicago during the Big Ten's media day gathering in July. That comment, much like warnings of icebergs in the path of the Titanic, went largely ignored. There's no doubting it now, though just like in the case of the Titanic even 20/20 hindsight isn't enough to turn back the hands of time and prevent disaster.
The only difference is no one is rushing out to pick up the movie rights to Iowa's 2012 football season. No Leo DiCaprio. Not Kate Winslet. No changing the public perception of what happened.
Iowa is now assured of its worst season under Ferentz since the Hawks went 3-9 during the 2000 campaign, his second at the helm in Iowa City. The Hawks won't go bowling for the first time since the 2007 season.
Is there more to say?
Already have an account? Sign In