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The Hawkeyes are a fresh canary for the Brick Mines.

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The Hawkeyes are a fresh canary for the Brick Mines. Don't get me wrong, there is already a growing pile of twitching and gasping little birds laying at the feet of Lyle Jones. But let's play pretend for a moment and go on a little journey of the mind:

Let's say you are a sunshine-pumping true fan. Butch is the man, and is turning this program around before your very asymmetric eyes and the evidence for this is seemingly right underneath your bulbous troglodytic nose. I know, I know, that makes no sense. But let's say you not only think Coach Jones is THE GUY, but that anyone who doesn't is a fool. Stick with me here, smokeygrey-back gorilla of the orange mist.

I feel it is safe to say (and grunt at me/fling poo if I am wrong), that you as a true fan Simian-for-life are expecting "big things in 2016" (following the established formula of "success can only be fairly expected in [y + (r/2)]*), with steady improvement next year. Let's say that means 8 wins. Maybe 7, if you have a tail and cannot walk upright.

So then, how would you see this match-up with Iowa? Surely, you expect that the freshmen have improved as the season has gone along under the tutelage as part of the master masonry being practiced by Jones. The majority of the starters for next year are on the team right now. Iowa would finish only ahead of Vanderbilt in the SEC East this year. The Hawkeyes' best two wins are against a 6-6 Pitt and a 6-6 Illinois. That's right, they didn't beat a single BCS team with a winning record.

There is no way to spin a loss to Iowa. Losing to Iowa would be a dead yellow bird in the brick mines, as winning seasons asphyxiate. This isn't a "must-win game," though. It is a "how could you possibly lose and be any good at your job?" game. Don't misconstrue this as some sort of claim of consequences for losing this game. It has been made clear by the recent raise and extension of Jones that a 6-7 finish wouldn't be frowned upon-- not just this season, but for seasons to come.

Should the worst occur in Florida this bowl season, perhaps some of the apes will begin to rise up. Grasp rocks as weapons. Craft simple tools. But more likely, it will be the grasping of fresh straw in their stinking cages of the mind, while crafting elaborate excuses.




* y=present calendar year, r= current class's composite recruiting ranking. Note that you can never expect "big things" in the present, only in the ever-sunny future, like chasing the dawn at the speed of Earth's rotation.

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