Iowa Hawkeyes Should Be in Top 25

By Derek Helling

The Iowa Hawkeyes through five games have played just as well as, if not better than several of the teams in the current AP Top 25,and it’s time they get recognized for it. The results from their play on the field are there.

Iowa currently has the seventh-ranked defense in the country, better than 22 of the current AP Top-25 teams. Its defense in the red zone has performed better than 22 of the top-25 teams and rushing defense has been stingier than 23 of the current top 25.

While the Hawkeyes come in at 48th in the country in total offense, that’s 36 spots above the current No. 1 team in the nation, Alabama. The Hawkeyes are outgaining the Crimson Tide by 60 yards a game. The Hawkeyes’ 244 rushing yards per game are better than 17 of the teams the Associated Press currently recognizes as the top 25.

Iowa’s defense and running game have given them the second-best time of possession average in all of FBS and they have more total minutes of possession this season than any current top-25 team. Iowa also averages fewer penalties per game than 16 of the AP’s list as of this week.

The natural criticism to all of these statistics is to ask the question of who have the Hawkeyes played. The Hawkeyes’ response to that is a resounding no one any worse than any of the opponents that the top 25 teams have played. No. 2 Oregon got one of their wins against vaunted Nichols State. No. 4 Ohio State has faced the nasty challenge of Florida A&M. No. 7 Louisville was surely tested by FIU. The list goes on.

This Hawkeye team is among the national leaders in several major statistical categories and outperforming a lot of teams that are currently getting recognition from the pollsters. It’s time to give Kirk Ferentz‘s flock of Hawks their due.

Derek Helling is a writer for Follow him on Twitter, “like” him on Facebook and add him on Google+.

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