We're finally getting to the point in summer where we're actually talking about football. FOOTBALL!! Woo. And with actual football still 51 days, 8 hours, 0 minutes, and 0 seconds away from kickoff...right now there are just a bunch of previews and predictions. I've done my best to compile Iowa previews from a variety of sources. It is by no means an exhaustive list, so if you find some more good ones out there, let me know.

SBNation (Bill Connelly)

Link: The Preview
Prediction: 7/8 wins
National Rank: 43 (not in article, but Connelly's rankings on Football Study Hall)

Summary: This article focuses on Kirk Ferentz success, but also the cyclical nature of Iowa Football. Iowa may be in a down cycle, but has an easy enough schedule to win 8 games.

With so much turnover, both on the field and on the coaching staff, this will almost certainly be a bit of a rebuilding year for Ferentz, and one shouldn't entirely assume that the Hawkeyes will produce at a Top 45-50 level. Still, they would have to play quite poorly not to at least win six games and reach another bowl game.

Maize n Brew

Link: The Preview
Prediction: 8-4

Summary: Iowa may seem to struggle against Iowa State and Minnesota, but that is usually on the road and both of those are home games this year. The schedule sets up for Iowa to start fast, but may struggle after the first 5 games.

The soft opening to the season should be a boon for the wide receiving corps, but once the bye week passes, Iowa is going to face a tougher schedule. Still, Iowa has a great shot at improving on last year’s record.


Link: The Preview
Prediction: 6-6 (3-5)

Summary: Despite the new coordinators, Iowa's offense and defense will remain bland and predictable.

I think Iowa is replacing last year's punter with a dude from Australia, and I could not be bothered to look up who either of them are right now.

College Football Zealots

Link: The Preview
Prediction: 8-4

Summary: A lot of the post comes from Ross WB over on BGHP, but the author's main points were that Iowa needs to find a running back and improve a defense that has been getting gradually worse since 2008.

Ultimately, the 2012 season for Iowa will come down to winning the games they are supposed to win and which young players can step up.

Bleacher Report (Kevin King)

Link: The Preview
Prediction: 8/9 wins

Summary: Yeah, a Bleacher Report slide show...I know. The guy is from SEC country so at least his doesn't have a super big Iowa bias in this one. Anyway, his 5 reasons to not sleep on Iowa are: easy schedule, improved special teams, improved O-line, James Vandenberg, and Kirk Ferentz.

The beauty of college football is that just like the stock market, no one really knows for sure. Just when things seem to be pointed down a new star is born. Or more often, a team comes together and makes what appears a singular weakness into a team strength.

Just Cover Blog

Link: The Preview
Prediction: 8-4

Summary: This has a bunch of over/unders (wins - 7.5, passing yards - 3000, rushing yards - 2000). The defining stretch of games for Iowa this year are PSU, at Northwestern, at Indiana and Purdue. Iowa could win all 4 or lose 3.

If there’s one thing we know about the recent history of Iowa football, it’s that they can compete with anyone, but also lose to anyone. Given the amount of inexperience on this roster, that should be even more apparent this year.

Yahoo Sports

Link: The Preview
Prediction: 8-4
National Rank: 43

Summary: Both sides of the ball have major concerns...on offense it's running back and on defense it's the line. Given the schedule, Iowa should be able to overcome some of those issues, but won't really compete in the Legends.

The revamped staff has some worries. The biggest on offense will be breaking in a new tailback. Defensively, finding some linemen is at the top of the list.