Iowa No. 23 in coaches poll; first ranking in five seasons

Rick Brown

Iowa’s football team landed in the Top 25 for the first time in five seasons Sunday.

The Hawkeyes, 5-0 after a 10-6 victory at Wisconsin in the Big Ten opener Saturday, are 23rd in the Amway/USA Today Coaches Poll released Sunday. Iowa was last ranked in that poll on Nov. 21, 2010, when it was 24th.

The 2010 season is also the last time the Hawkeyes were ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. That poll has not been released yet.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said after the victory at Wisconsin that he didn’t put much stock in polls just five games into a season.

“If it happens, it happens,” Ferentz said. “I’ll tell you, we’re not going to get too excited about it. If we’re there in November, great. To me, statistics and rankings really mean very little. I know we’re into October now, but five weeks into it it’s hard to get excited about anything other than what we’re doing as a football team. That can excite you a little bit.”

Some of Ferentz’s players echoed the same sentiments.

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“The goal is always the same every week,” senior center Austin Blythe said. “That’s to go out and get a win on Saturday. And that’s not going to change.”

Added junior cornerback Desmond King, “I’m not into all that stuff. Once November comes, that’s when everything gets down and everything matters.”

Iowa senior defensive end Drew Ott did relish the thought of being ranked.

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“It would be nice,” Ott said. “I haven’t been ranked my whole college career. I don’t think anyone on this team has.”

This is the ninth different Iowa team to get ranked during the 17-season Ferentz era. Four of those teams – 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2009 - ended the season in the Top 10.

Iowa puts its ranking and undefeated record on the line Saturday when it hosts Illinois in an 11 a.m. homecoming game at Kinnick Stadium. That game will be televised on ESPNU.