Hawkeyes Picked to Finish Third in Big Ten

Aug. 1, 2006

CHICAGO, IL – The University of Iowa football team today was picked to finish third in the Big Ten Conference in a vote by media members attending the Conference’s annual media day. Ohio State has been chosen as the preseason favorite, while Michigan was selected second.

This marks the third-consecutive year that the media have selected Ohio State, Michigan and Iowa to finish one-two-three, respectively.

The announcement was made here today as activities began for the 35th Annual Big Ten Kickoff. All 11 head coaches and players from each school will be attendance for media interviews and Wednesday’s luncheon. Head Coach Kirk Ferentz, seniors Mike Elgin, Marcus Paschal and Drew Tate are representing the Hawkeyes.

The Hawkeyes tied Michigan for third place last season before playing in the Outback Bowl. Head Coach Kirk Ferentz has led the Hawkeyes to four-straight January bowl games and enters 2006 with 49 wins in Iowa City, just one victory shy of becoming the third coach in school annals with 50 triumphs. Iowa returns 16 starters, including seven on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.

In individual honors, Ohio State’s Troy Smith was tabbed as the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year after being named the Offensive Most Valuable Player of the Fiesta Bowl. Penn State’s Paul Posluszny was named the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year after winning the Bednarik and Butkus Awards, emblematic of the nation’s top defensive player and linebacker, respectively.

Iowa opens its 2006 campaign Sept. 2 when it hosts Montana in Kinnick Stadium. The Hawkeyes will open their league schedule Sept. 23 when they travel to Illinois.