Iowa Deserves Its Top 5 Spot

By Shannon Sickmon
Iowa Hawkeyes, Big 10 Football, Iowa football
USA Today Sports Images–Reese Strickland

Every year, college football brings us one team that comes from seemingly nowhere to foment turmoil in the rankings. Every year college football hands us one surprise. Every year college football produces one underdog that survives the shark-infested waters of the Top 25 to emerge as the Cinderella of the NCAA. This year it isIowa. These corn-fed upstarts have shaken up the CFP race, and it is this kind of bolt from the blue that makes every year in college football a revelation.

There are no definites in college football — nobody predicted at the beginning of this year that the Hawkeyes would be in the top five. Nobody.

College football legacies have to start somewhere. Bear Bryant transformed Alabama into the legendary team that it is. He put Alabama solidly into the annals of college football history. Before that, college football was dominated by Ivy League and Big Ten teams. Iowa might become an indisputable championship contender — who can say? Frankly the old guard needs to be on notice.

Detractors feel that Iowa doesn’t belong in the Top Four. However, this is a team that has managed to have a perfect season. Granted it wasn’t always pretty. They had an easier schedule than their rivals in the Big 10 East. Regardless, finishing a season undefeated in any conference is a remarkable accomplishment — just ask any team in the Pac-12. An undefeated season is a rarity and should be celebrated, but there are still people that assume that Iowa doesn’t belong. Those people would be incorrect.

The Hawkeyes still have a long way to go. They have to battle their Eastern Division rival in the Big 10 championship game. If they manage to win out, they will have a daunting bugaboo to slay in the playoff game. But let’s give Iowa the credit they deserve.

Their accomplishments this season have been impressive. They have shown spirit, tenacity, and resilience. An Iowa team in the playoffs may be a very real possibility, y’all. I love a great Cinderella story, and Iowa has had the ultimate fairy tale season. So brace yourselves, all you doubters, and get your glass slipper ready. Iowa seems poised to shake up the CFP, and college football is all the better for it.

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