Team preview: Iowa

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(All information as of June 20, 2007)


A month into the 2006 season, Iowa was sitting at 4-0 and feeling pretty good. The Hawkeyes had No. 1 Ohio State coming to town for a nationally televised game. In prime time. Time to make a statement. Or not.
The Buckeyes knocked off Iowa, 38-17, that night, ending any illusions in Iowa City that the Hawkeyes were Big Ten contenders. And then things got worse.

The 4-0 start was followed by a 2-7 finish, including a four-game losing streak to end the season. While some of the losses were understandable (20-6 at Michigan, 24-21 against Wisconsin), others made little sense to Iowa fans. Like a loss at Indiana. Or a home loss to Northwestern. By 14 points.
"We got some guys injured and basically stunk up the joint the rest of the year," Iowa defensive coordinator Norm Parker said.

Still, despite the rough finish, the Hawkeyes had a chance to end with a measure of success. They led Texas into the fourth quarter of the Alamo Bowl before losing, 26-24.
"At least we played football again," Parker said. "You've got to win those games, and we didn't do it. You can have all these reasons, but it's all excuses. We didn't do it."