Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/16/14

James Vandenberg

2012 Iowa Hawkeyes Football Quickview

2011 Record:  7-6

Head Coach:  Kirk Ferentz-  14th year   96-66

Returning Starters:   10    5-Offense  5-Defense

Nonconference Schedule Breakdown:  UPSET ALERT!!…the Hawkeyes only ‘road’ nonconference game in 2012 is the 1st game of the year when they travel to Soldier Field in Chicago to face Northern Illinois who finished 2011 11-3…with new offensive AND defensive coordinators (along with 5 other coaching changes), this could be very dangerous for Kirk Ferentz…then he gets started with the Tour de Corn with in-state rival Iowa State, Northern Iowa and Central Michigan…if he can survive those first two weeks (2-0)…then things will be ok in Iowa City..but the more he loses, the more critics will begin to hammer Kirk…especially because of all the personnel changes.

Schedule Rank (in Big Ten) 11th hardest: they better be careful opening week…Iowa State doesn’t scare anyone..they get a break by missing some big boys on the other side of the Big Ten…their two toughest games on the year are in the state of Michigan…all be told…Iowa should start the season 5-0

Who they don’t play in 2012:  Illinois, Ohio State, Wisconsin

The Skinny:  Turnover on the coaching staff…new offensive and defensive coordinators has been the big topic in Iowa City this offseason…it will be interesting to see just how different those units will be…I mean..how much control is Ferentz willing to give these new guys considering the amount of success he’s had at Iowa…and believe me..’success’ is a subjective term in this case…is he going to radically change his schemes 15 years into his coaching stint?…doubt it…but there should be some changes (and I think there will be)…I think this is a big year for Kirk…he needs to evolve or get left behind…

Toughest Game in 2012:  October 13th @ East Lansing…Iowa won the last meeting there, but is 1-4 in the last 5 at Spartan Stadium…but he gets this game after a bye week…maybe that will help..with Minnesota the game before this one…an Iowa W could make the Hawks 2-0 with possible W’s on the horizon..

Best Player:  QB James Vandenberg…should be an All Big Ten candidate…there is something really funky about his delivery…it seems very slow and deliberate….but he is very good..and he will have to be to get the Hawkeyes to January bowl game this year.

What MIGHT happen: The coaching staff comes together…the Hawkeyes get another HB to emerge from nowhere(Greg Garmon) and have 600 yds rushing at the end of September…as does the offensive and defensive lines and the Hawkeyes are contending for a Legends title into November…

What WILL happen:  Iowa goes 1-1 (probably by squeaking by Northern Illinois and losing to Iowa State) in its 1st two games and will struggle to finish above .500

What WON’T happen:  Iowa will play a football game in early 2013…their last game will be in late December…in Texas.

Why they won’t win the Big Ten: Too much staff turnover in a place where it doesn’t happen too much..and too many tough road conference games..

Why they will win the Big Ten:  James Vandenberg throws form more than 3,000 yards and 28 TD passes and the defense is better than an underrated unit in 2011

Gotta know about the Hawkeyes:  Iowa is only 19-17 in Bloomington against the Hoosiers…and they have had to win 3 of the last 4 at Memorial Stadium to get that record….sheesh!

BOLD Statement:  Iowa will lose three of its four road Big Ten games…

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