Hawkeye fans often gripe about how Iowa gets no respect, especially in the polls. Take last year for example...Iowa rolls into Happy Valley and beats Penn State only to end up ranked 4 spots bellow the Nittany Lions in the Coaches Poll. By the end of the year after a dominating Orange Bowl victory, the voters got it right (as they usually do in the final poll) and placed Iowa where they deserved to be.

Nittany White Out took on the daunting task of compiling the preseason and end of season AP ranking for the entire decade to find the most Overrated/Underrated teams. The numbers validate what every Iowa fan already knew...Iowa is vastly underrated. The Hawkeyes come in as the #3 most underrated team of the decade and the #1 underrated team from a BCS conference. Only Utah and Boise State where more underrated (and TCU was equally underrated).

The Decade (Year: Preseason/Final AP Rank)
  • 2000: NR/NR
  • 2001: NR/NR
  • 2002: NR/8
  • 2003: NR/8
  • 2004: 19/8
  • 2005: 11/NR
  • 2006: 16/NR
  • 2007: NR/NR
  • 2008: NR/20
  • 2009: 22/7

I think the Hawkeyes and the fans like the underdog role to a degree. When Iowa does well it's like we're sticking it to the man, or something along those lines. But I don't think anyone would be complaining if Iowa got the respect they deserve all season long.

Next season will be interesting to watch. Iowa should have the highest preseason ranking since 2005 (maybe even higher). I anticipate anywhere from #7, where Iowa finished last year, to #15 and anywhere in that range is fine with me. Iowa just might surprise the voters again and end up surpassing the higher expectations. I for one, would be ecstatic if that happens.