116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
While I’m waiting to be elected Speaker of the House, I thought I’d offer some analysis that is as shallow as a birdbath.
Here goes: If you want to be great in college football, you have to score a lot of points.
There, I said it and I don’t care. You only live once.
Iowa, you can’t go on scoring 18.2 points per game, a number propped up by your defense scoring a nation-leading seven touchdowns.
You can continue to be No. 1 in the nation in fewest yards allowed per play and No. 2 in scoring defense and No. 2 in total defense. None of your supporters would vote against that. But this business of being No. 122 in points per game and No. 130 in total offense is a bad path, the kind you’d warn your kids against going down.
I watched some of the two College Football Playoff games and the Rose and Cotton bowls. Points were scored. An average of 40.8 per team, to be precise.
You couldn’t help but be struck. Do these national-title contenders and conference champions not play defense? Surprisingly, they do. Even after all the points they allowed in their semifinal playoff games, Georgia is fifth in the nation in scoring defense, Michigan seventh, and Ohio State 25th.
But you must have great offense to get into the national discussion. No matter how colossal your defense may be, you’re playing in Reliaquest and Music City bowls if your offense can’t consistently get first downs and scores. You know, positive things.
If Iowa had just a good defense instead of a great one, it probably would have lost to South Dakota State and Minnesota, would have been 5-7, and would have kept a lot of people off the highways between Iowa and Nashville. Its defense outscored its offense in the first and last games of the season, ya know.
Had the Hawkeyes featured a good offense instead of a bad one, it probably would have defeated Iowa State, Illinois and Nebraska, would have played in the Big Ten title game for a second-straight year, and would have been in a bowl game of actual consequence.
You know all that. But before I put as much of my attention as I can muster into basketball season, I’m just putting this on record: Shape up your offense, Iowa. You need a new storyline. The 2022 version brought you a lot of ridicule, and there are many public people in this life that deserve the ridicule more.
Recent additions of quarterback Cade McNamara, tight end Erick All and wide receiver Seth Anderson are good ones for Iowa. If the offensive line gets transfer portal help, as one could presume it will, and Iowa’s coaches take an open-minded approach about how they approach offense in the year 2023, it could be a big season.
The Hawkeyes’ defense will still be very good. Maybe as good as anyone’s. But look at the top five teams in the nation in scoring defense: Illinois, Iowa, Air Force, Minnesota, Georgia.
Then look at the top five in scoring offense: Tennessee, Ohio State, USC, Alabama, TCU. Michigan is sixth, Georgia eighth.
Then look at the teams Iowa is hanging around with in scoring offense: Rutgers, Northwestern, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Colorado. Sheesh.
The only one of the nation’s bottom 14 teams in scoring that went to a bowl was the Hawkeyes. You can’t count on pulling off that magic trick forever.
And now, basketball.
Who am I kidding? The football off-field stuff goes on and on and on and on.