Aug. 2, 2010
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CHICAGO — The University of Iowa football team is picked to finish second in the 2010 Big Ten Conference race. The Ohio State Buckeyes are expected to repeat as league champions and Wisconsin is tabbed for third. The voting by Big Ten media was announced today (Monday, Aug. 2) as part of the annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon festivities at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago.
The preseason ranking is the highest for a Hawkeye team since records have been kept beginning in 1996. The Hawkeyes were picked to finish third three times (2004, ’05 and ’06).
“I suppose it’s flattering to be picked so high by the league’s media,” says UI head coach Kirk Ferentz. “But the reality is that we haven’t won a single game yet in 2010. We fully realize we have a lot work to do before the season begins.”
Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor is the preseason offensive player of the year and Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones is the defensive player of the year. It is the second straight time Pryor and Jones have been chosen.
The Hawkeyes finished the 2009 season with a record of 11-2 overall and 6-2 in the Big Ten, including a 24-14 victory over Georgia Tech in the FedEx Orange Bowl.
The Hawkeyes enter the 2010 campaign with three preseason All-America candidates and 16 returning starters. Defensive end Adrian Clayborn, defensive back Tyler Sash and punter Ryan Donahue are considered candidates for national postseason honors. Other Hawkeyes receiving considerable preseason attention are quarterback Ricky Stanzi, free safety Brett Greenwood, linebacker Jeremiha Hunter, defensive tackle Karl Klug and wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos.
Clayborn, a 6-foot-4, 285-pound senior from St. Louis, has been named to numerous preseason All-America teams and has been named to the Lombardi, Nagurski and Lott Trophy watch lists. Sash is a 6-1, 210-pound junior from Oskaloosa, Iowa. He is also a part of the Nagurski, Lott and Jim Thorpe watch lists in addition to preseason All-America teams.
Ferentz has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year three times: 2002, ’04 and ’09. Of the returning starters, eight are on defense, six on offense and the punter and kicker. A total of 48 returning lettermen make the 2010 squad one of the most experienced returning teams in the nation.
Clayborn, Stanzi and Klug are with Ferentz in Chicago from Aug. 2-3 as part of the Big Ten’s Kickoff Luncheon and media activities. Media members from throughout the country have converged on Chicago to visit with Big Ten players and coaches.
Iowa’s season officially begins Friday, Aug. 6, when the squad conducts its first practice and faces the media at the school’s annual press day.
The Hawkeyes open the season Saturday, Sept. 4, at home against Eastern Illinois. The game will begin at 11 a.m. (Iowa time) and be broadcast live by the Big Ten Network.