Ranked and Climbing

Oct. 24, 2004

Iowa’s football team, winners of three Big Ten Conference games in a row including Saturday’s 6-4 victory over Penn State, has moved up in one national poll and reappeared in another.

The Hawkeyes moved from 25th to 23rd in the Top 25 of the Associated Press. The Hawkeyes collected 191 points, about 100 more than Minnesota. Iowa is one of six Big Ten teams included in the poll that has Southern Cal, Oklahoma and Auburn as its top three teams.

Iowa’s victory last Saturday at Penn State was their first road win of the 2004 season. The Hawkeyes will be looking for No. 2 this weekend when they travel to Champaign, Ill., for an 11 a.m. (Iowa time) date with Illinois.

Iowa is No. 24 in ESPN/USA Today’s list. Again, six Big Ten teams are included. USC, Oklahoma and Miami are the top three teams in the ESPN list.

Iowa travels to Illinois Saturday for an 11 a.m. (Iowa time) date with the Fighting Illini. That game will be televised by ESPN Plus to a regional audience.

A difficult task looms on the horizon for Coach Kirk Ferentz’s squad. After Illinois, Iowa plays Purdue in historic Kinnick Stadium, travels to Minnesota and returns to Kinnick for the regular season finale against Wisconsin. All three teams are ranked and Wisconsin, currently the highest ranked Big Ten team at No. 6 in both polls, shares the Big Ten lead with Michigan.