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What is Next For the Iowa Football Program?

The college football season concluded on January 8th, 2024 with the University of Michigan Wolverines taking down the University of Washington Huskies, 34-14, in the College Football National Championship. Many devoted Hawkeye fans are wondering when their time will come. 

There was a lot of hope going into the year as former Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara transferred. However, his time on the field was cut short when he suffered a torn ACL in just his fifth game wearing black and gold. This led to some unfortunate games for the Hawkeyes, nonetheless, they won the Big Ten West with a 15-13 win over the University of Illinois on November 18th.

Quarterback Cade McNamara is helped off the field after suffering a torn ACL in just the second drive of the game.

But they came up short of a Big Ten Championship in an embarrassing loss to Michigan at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 2nd. The Hawkeyes then ended the season scoreless in the Citrus Bowl against the University of Tennessee. Iowa finished No. 24 in the final AP Poll of 2023, and that is the fifth time in the last six seasons that the Hawkeyes have finished in the final top 25 of the AP Poll. 

Iowa has a lot of returning talent from this year’s team. However, one noticeable change will be Cooper Dejean, All-American cornerback and punt returner, announcing that he will be foregoing his eligibility and putting his name into the 2024 NFL draft. Although this announcement was not a huge surprise, it is still disappointing to see him go. 

ESPN’s way-too-early top-25 poll has Iowa barely making the cut at number 25. So what’s next? With Brian Ferentz being out as an offensive coordinator, next year’s OC is still TBD. No one knows if a new offensive coordinator will truly be the “cure-all” for the Hawks. Although this move could help the Hawkeyes become more competitive with Big Ten frontrunners, especially with the addition of Oregon, UCLA, USC, and Washington. 

Hawkeye fans can only have hope and faith in their team going into the season. After a tough start to the 2023 season, they still managed to come out with a 10-4 overall record and 7-2 against Big Ten opponents. This past season was not one that any Iowa Hawkeye fan wanted with a difficult-to-watch offense and upsetting injuries. So will the 2024 season be another rebuilding year or will they be Big Ten Champions and shock the country?

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About the Contributor
Emma Steele
Emma Steele, Writer
Emma Steele is a sophomore at MHS. This is her first year writing for The Auroran Today. If she is not writing stories she may be spending time with her family, drinking Diet Coke, arguing with someone about their opinion, or watching all of her favorite sports.
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  • L

    Luke RJan 22, 2024 at 7:46 pm

    Really good stuff!

  • M

    McKennaJan 21, 2024 at 2:01 pm

    I’m a sports fan now because of this ❤️