Iowa takes center stage this week

September, 14, 2010
9/14/10
5:00
PM ET
As soon as the Coaches' Poll came out Sunday, the e-mails started rolling in from the Hawkeye State.

Christian from Des Moines: How does Iowa go out this past Saturday and blow out and shut down a Big 12 team like Iowa State, and fall in the coaches poll?

Wilson from Iowa: I love the underdog role Iowa usually plays but hate it when Iowa doesn't get any respect. Iowa completely dominated this last game vs Iowa State and yet the coaches moved them down in rank. Will Iowa get left behind in the rankings because of sportsmanship and not running up the score on other teams?

Greg from Chicago: As someone who has never fully understood the polls, can you help me understand how Iowa can drop a spot after a convincing win in an in-state rivalry?

I have two thoughts for Iowa fans.

1. A top-10 team should never be dropped in the polls after a 28-point win against another team from an AQ league, so your gripe is legit. Voters clearly still think highly of Tennessee, as Oregon made the big move this week after crushing the Vols in Knoxville. Still, Florida has no business being ahead of Iowa in any poll right now.

2. Stop whining. Go beat Arizona.

I can assure you Kirk Ferentz is taking the second approach this week as they prepare for their trip to the desert to face No. 24 Arizona on Saturday night (ESPN, 10:30 p.m. ET). There aren't a ton of big-ticket national games this week, and No. 9 Iowa has an excellent chance to showcase itself on the national stage away from Iowa City.

Want national respect, Hawkeyes? Go to Arizona and get some.

Colleague Bruce Feldman lists Iowa-Arizona as his top storyline of the week in college football. National media members will be on hand Saturday night in Tucson.

"It's really exciting," Iowa running back Adam Robinson told me today. "The stakes are high, the tensions are high, and that helps me and a lot of my teammates play better. We're always striving to prove we can compete with the best of the best.

"When the stakes are higher and things like that, we rise to the occasion."

If Iowa rises to the occasion Saturday night, respect will come.

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