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EDSBS CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW WEEK: IOWA

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IS THIS THE YEAR THE HAWKEYES RISE ABOVE ALL OTHERS?

US PRESSWIRE

Week 1's coming sooner than you think, but before it does, we're taking a look at the championship chances of a few teams that might not be on your radar. Today, it's the well-compensated Kirk Ferentz and his Iowa Hawkeyes.

2013 amounted to a rebound year for Kirk Ferentz and Iowa, with an 8-5 record that included close losses to Northern Illinois and LSU bookending the season. Outside of the linebackers, most units will return a majority of last year's starters in 2014, and the Hawkeyes only face five teams predicted to rank in the top 50 by Bill Connelly. If the offense finds an explosive weapon or two, the defense keeps up its steady form from last year, and a break or two goes Iowa's way, who knows, maybe this is the dream season Hawkeye fans have been waiting for.

Bovada says the chances of that happening are 100 to 1, the same odds they're offering for Arizona, Kansas State, and Washington. Iowa hasn't won the Big Ten in a decade, and they haven't finished ranked in the final AP Poll since 2010. Is this the year they end both droughts and shock the college football world?

We asked retired coach Bobby Ross for his prediction.

EDSBS: Coach Ross, do you think Kirk Ferentz can lead the Hawkeyes to a national championship in 2014?

BOBBY ROSS: No.

EDSBS: Thank you.