Just over a month ago the Iowa Hawkeyes whipped fifth-ranked Michigan State 37-6 and their record stood at 7-2 with BCS dreams still alive. Since then their season has turned into a nightmare.
Iowa closed the season with three straight losses and in the last few days have lost a hat trick of highly touted running backs- including their leading rusher who has been suspended. Their all-time leading receiver had already been suspended last week due to drug charges and Las Vegas Casinos are so concerned that they have taken the rare step and pulled the Iowa-Missouri Insight Bowl game off their boards.
Iowa (7-5) will play No. 14 Missouri (10-2) in the Insight Bowl on Dec. 28 in Tempe, Arizona. What looked like a good matchup a week ago is now so one-sided that you can’t place a bet on the game after 86% of the money in Vegas was being laid on Missouri, which lead to the casinos pulling the game.
Coach Kirk Ferentz has been dodging the press but will have a news conference Tuesday morning.
Adam Robinson has been the Hawkeyes top back this year with 941 yards and 10 touchdowns. A pair of recent concussions had sidelined Robinson and forced him to miss the season finale in the loss to Minnesota, but he had medical clearance for the Insight Bowl. Robinson has been suspended from the team due to “failing to comply with team expectations and policies.”
Running back Jewell Hampton will transfer and has been given his release from his scholarship. Hampton showed promise as a freshman in 2008 with 463 yards rushing and seven touchdowns but has played little since after two major knee injuries and ran for only 113 yards this season.
Brandon Wegher missed this season due to personal reasons and has been granted his release to transfer as long as it is not to a fellow Big Ten school. Wegher scored eight touchdowns last season.
All of this comes on the heels of last week’s arrest of star wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos on a battery of drug charges. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has stated emphatically that Johnson-Koulianos will not play again for the Hawkeyes.
Freshman running back Marcus Coker will likely start for Iowa in the Insight Bowl. In six games he has shown promise averaging 67 yards a game and 5 yards a carry.