Iowa football cracks AP Top 25; Jackson nabs national honor
IOWA CITY, Ia. — Iowa football is getting a national bounce after Saturday's historic 55-24 blowout of three-touchdown-favorite Ohio State.
The Hawkeyes are ranked for the first time this season, earning the No. 25 spot in the AP Top 25 poll results released Sunday afternoon.
The last time Iowa was ranked in the media poll was following the 2016 regular season, when it was 21st. The Hawkeyes then dropped from the final poll after a 30-3 Outback Bowl loss against Florida.
Earlier Sunday, Iowa was two spots outside the Top 25 in the Amway Coaches Poll.
AP and coaches poll rankings are now largely ceremonial; the only rankings that have on-field bearing are the ones that the College Football Playoff committee put out. Those will be released Tuesday, and there's probably a decent chance Iowa makes its first appearance since 2015.
According to analyst Jeff Sagarin's widely respected computer ratings, Iowa has played the ninth-toughest schedule in the nation. He has the 6-3 Hawkeyes ranked 18th nationally in his report.
The Hawkeyes have victories against Iowa State (ranked No. 24 in this week's AP poll, No. 21 in Sagarin) and Ohio State (No. 11 AP, No. 6 Sagarin), with their only losses being by a total of 16 points to Penn State (7-2), Michigan State (7-2) and Northwestern (6-3).
This is now the 11th season under Kirk Ferentz that Iowa has appeared in the AP poll. His 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009 and 2015 teams finished in the top 10.
Iowa's Josh Jackson was named Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week after his three-interception performance Saturday against the Buckeyes.
Jackson's final pick — a one-handed grab while leaping with his back to the goal line — was recognized as ESPN as Saturday's play of the day in college football.
Jackson, a junior cornerback, leads the nation with 15 pass breakups and is tied for second in FBS with 0.6 interceptions per game (five total).
And ESPN reported that its Iowa-Ohio State broadcast earned a 2.5 overnight rating, the highest for any college game on cable last week.