Iowa recorded its first road victory over a top-25 opponent since 2010 on Saturday at Wisconsin. And because of that, the Hawkeye football team is rated in both major polls for the first time since 2010.
Iowa, now 5-0 after that 10-6 victory over the Badgers in Saturday’s Big Ten opener, is ranked 22nd in the Associated Press poll and 23rd in the Amway/USA Today Coaches poll. Both polls were released Sunday.
Iowa’s last road victory against a top-25 foe had been a 38-28 triumph at No. 24 Michigan on Oct. 16, 2010. The Hawkeyes moved up two spots to 13th in the AP poll after beating the Wolverines. Iowa had dropped to 21st when it hosted No. 7 Ohio State and lost 20-17 on Nov. 20, 2010.
That dropped Iowa to 24th in both polls heading into a Nov. 27 game at Minnesota. The Hawkeyes were upset, 27-24, and fell out of the rankings for the first time in 25 weeks going back to early in the 2009 season. Seventy-four polls later, they’re back.
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.
“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.
“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.