'It's Not Where You Start...'

Aug. 21, 2010

Iowa Football Practice Photos (Friday, Aug. 20) | Interview with Coach Morgan

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Kirk Ferentz is a big believer in the “It’s not where you start that’s important. It’s where you finish.”

Having said that, it would be hard to look beyond the fact that (a) the starting point for the 2010 University of Iowa football team – if measured by the Hawkeyes ` ranking in the Associated Press’ pre-season Top 25 – is high as in single-digit high and, as such, is additional evidence of the momentum that Ferentz, his staff and the Hawkeyes have built in Iowa City, and (b) historically, the ranking is among the best in recent years for the UI.

Iowa was pegged at No. 9 in the first AP poll of the season, released earlier today. Alabama, the defending national champion, came in at No. 1 with 54 of the 60 first-place votes available. The Crimson Tide were followed by Ohio State, Boise State, Florida and Texas.

Texas Christian, Oklahoma and Nebraska sat in front of the Hawkeyes in positions 6, 7 and 8, respectively. Virginia Tech rounded out the top 10. Wisconsin at No. 12 and Penn State at No. 19 joined the Hawkeyes and Buckeyes as the other Big Ten Conferences representatives.

Iowa’s starting point – No. 9 – matches that of Hayden Fry’s 1988 squad and is five positions behind the No. 4 ranking that the Hawkeyes 1985 team carried into to its season, a year that ended with an appearance in the Rose Bowl. That squad and the 1960 Big Ten championship team coached by Forest Evashevski will be celebrated as part of annual Varsity Club Day activities when Iowa entertains Eastern Illinois Saturday, Sept. 4, in the 2010 season opener.

The ’60 and ’85 teams will also be saluted a day earlier with the City of Coralville stages the second annual FRYfest on the Iowa Landing near the Coralville Marriott. FRYfest is a “celebration of all things Hawkeye” and the home of the “World’s Largest Hawkeye Tradeshow and Tailgate Party.” The all-day event ends with a concert featuring Three Dog Night.

Iowa closed the book on 2009 with a dominating victory over Georgia Tech in the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl and drove home the “It’s where you finish” philosophy: That win propelled Iowa to No. 7 in the final Associated Press Poll.

Ferentz’s squad, winners of 11 games in 2009, joined Ohio State and Penn State in the Top 10 of each poll. The Big Ten Conference was the only conference to place three teams in among the first 10. Wisconsin finished 16th in both polls.

The Hawkeyes finished the season ranked eighth by AP in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Iowa has finished among the Top 25 22 times in school history. Iowa’s highest finish was No. 2 in 1958 and 1960.