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Coaches Poll: Iowa football team ranked 23rd in first poll of season

Mark Emmert
Hawk Central

The Iowa football team enters the season ranked 23rd in the nation in the initial Amway Coaches Poll.

That is where coach Kirk Ferentz's 22nd Hawkeye squad was picked when the poll was released Thursday by USA Today.

Iowa is one of six Big Ten Conference teams in the poll, led by Ohio State at No. 2.

There are still many questions about whether the college football season will be completed amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but Iowa is set to begin its preseason camp Friday. Its opening game is scheduled for Sept. 5, at home against Maryland.

The Hawkeyes are replacing a three-year starting quarterback in Nate Stanley, plus first-round NFL Draft pick Tristan Wirfs (offensive tackle) and second-round pick A.J. Epenesa (defensive end). Wirfs and Epenesa left Iowa with one year of eligibility remaining.

Iowa was ranked 15th in the final Amway Coaches Poll last season after coach Kirk Ferentz's team finished 10-3 with a Holiday Bowl win over USC. That ranking netted the coach a $175,000 bonus under the terms of his contract.

Spencer Petras is expected to get the nod at quarterback, although he will do so without the normal spring practice season. Iowa is scheduled to play only 10 games this season, all against Big Ten Conference competition.

Iowa State is ranked 25th in the preseason poll, the second consecutive year both of the state's major-conference teams are listed. That had never happened before 2019.

Iowa was ranked 19th in the coaches poll heading into last season, when it finished 10-3 after a Holiday Bowl win over USC. The Hawkeyes were ranked 15th in the final poll in January.

See the full poll:https://www.usatoday.com/sports/ncaaf/polls/amway-coaches-poll/

As a result of Iowa’s top-15 national finish, Ferentz earned a $175,000 bonus and his assistant coaches got a 12 percent pay raise, under the terms of the head coach’s contract signed in September 2016.

Mark Emmert covers the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Register. Reach him at memmert@registermedia.com or 319-339-7367. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkEmmert.

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