The Iowa Hawkeyes may not be as talented as the Kentucky Wildcats or the Michigan State Spartans, but they still should be ranked to start the 2013-14 college basketball season. That will not be the case in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
Iowa made it all of the way to the NIT championship game last season and will be returning a bunch of talent from that team. The Hawkeyes will be one of the most experienced teams in the Big Ten and they could make a lot of noise in the conference.
Iowa finished last season with an overall record of 25-13 and a conference record of 9-9. The Hawkeyes finished with a better conference record than Illinois and Minnesota, but both teams still managed to make the NCAA tournament.
Teams like Wisconsin and Indiana are losing some talent–especially the Hoosiers–but both teams managed to be ranked. I have no problem with the Badgers being ranked, but Iowa is better than Indiana. At least until the Hoosiers can prove that they can contend without most of their team from last season.
Luckily, Iowa will play enough good teams to show its worth in the upcoming season. It will have to win those games, though. The Hawkeyes could be the biggest sleeper in the conference.
Iowa was not completely left off of the map. It at least got the 29th most points in the Coaches Poll. The Hawkeyes need to win early on so they can crack the top 25 early in the season. Once they are in they could be ranked all season long.