Awful. Just awful. I’m not sure how else I can explain it. Easily the worst sports loss of my life and I can’t even think of a close second. I just watched my beloved once-undefeated Iowa Hawkeyes lose to Michigan State in the B1G Championship in torturous fashion. It wouldn’t hurt so bad if we had gotten blown out. I would’v much preferred that opposed to what actually happened. The fucked up thing is that was exactly the type of game it needed to be for the Hawkeyes to win. Just a defensive struggle the whole time. Field goals on field goals on field goals. Not the prettiest type of football to watch but a gutter war. Keep it close, keep it close then maybe the Hawks can pull it out at the end. And it was close and Iowa was winning and a small part of me started to believe it was actually going to happen. That we were going to make it into the 4-team playoff and then who knows what the hell can happen once you’re in. That’s the part that really ripped my heart outta my chest. I, just for a split second, let myself feel how it would be if we got into the playoff before the game was over. I’ll go ahead and say that was a mistake in hindsight.
This drive was truly insane and ridiculous and watching it unfold right in front of my face was pure agony
How the fuck is that even possible? 22 plays? Part of me knew it was happening even in the moment. Like the slowest death possible. The team turning back into a pumpkin right before my very eyes. The amazing thing was the Spartans couldn’t pass at all. MVP Connor Cook was awful in that game down the stretch. It was just run run run run run run. Iowa couldn’t stop it. The play LJ Scott scored on was the highest of highs and lowest of lows. I thought Iowa stopped him on that 3rd down on the 1-yard line and they did stop him. They just didn’t tackle him to the ground for some reason. For some reason they let him stick his arm out and break the plane. If he doesn’t score there then we go to a all-or-nothing 4th down. Who knows what happens. Maybe we stop them or maybe they score anyway. We’ll never know. But how do you let him cross the goal line when he’s got three guy draped all over him? Biggest play in the biggest game in the history of the state of Iowa and he somehow gets through. That’s a moment I’ll never forget and for all the wrong reasons.
If Iowa wins that game then we continue to be able to say, “Nobody believes in us but they can’t say shit about an undefeated team.” Doing that over the course of 12 undefeated weeks was so much fun. Being in that position as a sports fan is truly the best. Being the ultimate underdog. Little ol’ Iowa wreaking havoc in the college football world. Being somewhere we don’t belong and confusing the masses along the way. Now? It’s all gone. All of it. Every shred of it. The playoff spot is gone. The dream season is gone. Being able to rip on guys like Colin Cowherd and Paul Finebaum and Kirk Herbsteit for ripping on Iowa. All gone. The flip side is true too. Cowhherd and those guys will go back to pretending Iowa doesn’t exist because we are no longer relevant to the national scene. They’ll maybe mention us in passing on Monday and that’ll be that. The worst part though is I’ll never see a season like that again. Never ever. That hurts the most. The Iowa Hawkeye football team will never go 12-0 again with a chance to shock the world and sneak into the 4-team playoff in my lifetime. It just won’t. Everybody who follows Iowa football knows it. This team shockingly and outta nowhere caught lightning in a bottle this season. Will I some day look back on this season fondly because it was a fun ride and I was glad to be alive for it? Yeah probably but right now this still fucking sucks.