No. 8 Iowa getting no respect
IOWA CITY, Iowa — All Iowa's done is knock off Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan State on the road. Oh, and the Hawkeyes are the nation's only 9-0 team and are ranked No. 4 in the BCS.
So why are so many so unimpressed with Iowa?
Lucky, ugly and bound to fall — the Hawkeyes have heard it all. Questioning Iowa (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten) has become common in the national media, and after seeing the Hawkeyes drop a spot to No. 8 despite an 18-point win over Indiana last week, its sports information office took action.
Iowa spokesman Phil Haddy sent out an e-mail on Monday asking the media to "get the correct facts on Iowa football." It compared the Hawkeyes to unbeatens Cincinnati, Boise State, TCU and one-loss Oregon — all teams ranked ahead of them in this week's Top 25.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, whom Haddy says wasn't aware of the e-mail until after it was sent, isn't ready to hit the campaign trail yet. He's more worried about Northwestern (5-4, 2-3), which visits Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, than changing public perception.
Besides, he's got a theory on squawking about the polls.
"Usually the first team to complain is the first team to get beat," Ferentz said.
Haddy's e-mail said that the Hawkeyes have beaten six teams who currently have winning records, though one was Northern Iowa of the FCS. That's two more than the Bearcats and Horned Frogs and four more than the Broncos. According to Haddy, the teams Iowa has beaten have a combined record of 44-31, also best of the bunch, and the teams the Hawkeyes have beaten on the road are a combined 23-12.
Only Oregon can match Iowa for wins against teams in the BCS Top 25 with three. TCU doesn't have any.
But those numbers, impressive as they might be, don't account for Iowa's relatively low standing in the Top 25. It instead has largely to do with the unimpressive way it's played against unimpressive competition.
"I've seen a lot of very fortunate, if not outright lucky victories, against some suspect competition," said ESPN columnist Pat Forde, who referenced Haddy's e-mail in an espn.com column this week. "I would like to turn on the TV one time and see them dominate."
LB'S SUSPENSION NOW A FULL GAME
Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes has had his suspension for apparently trying to gouge the eyes of a Georgia running back increased to a full game.
Coach Urban Meyer says it was in the best interest of the team for Spikes to serve a full-game suspension when the top-ranked Gators play Vanderbilt on Saturday.
Meyer had faced some criticism for only suspending his All-America linebacker for only the first half the Vandy game.
The Southeastern Conference accepted the original punishment.
Spikes stuck his hand into the facemask of Georgia's Washaun Ealey during Florida's 41-17 victory against the Bulldogs last week. There was no penalty called at the time, but Meyer went back and looked at the play of tape and decided to punish Spikes.