Believe in miracles? (Nah)

Iowa+head+coach+Kirk+Ferentz+watches+his+team+during+a+timeout+of+the+Iowa-NDSU+game+at+Kinnick+on+Saturday%2C+Sept.+17%2C+2016.+NDSU+defeated+Iowa+in+the+final+seconds+of+the+game+with+a+37-yard+field+goal%2C+23-21.+%28The+Daily+Iowan%2FMargaret+Kispert%29

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz watches his team during a timeout of the Iowa-NDSU game at Kinnick on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. NDSU defeated Iowa in the final seconds of the game with a 37-yard field goal, 23-21. (The Daily Iowan/Margaret Kispert)

There are no Rose Bowls in the crystal ball this season.

It’s pretty much a fact.

Yes, perhaps the miraculous happens, and the Iowa football team wins the rest of its regular-season games, finishes 10-2 and plays in a nice bowl against Colorado, the second-best team in the Pac-12. Or maybe the rest of this season falls apart and there is no bowl. There is no silver lining.

Maybe there is nothing but disappointment and anger at expectations left unfulfilled. I’m not going to try to attempt to be Nostradamus and predict the future, but a 38-31 loss at home to Northwestern is a bad omen.

Iowa’s 2015 season led me to believe literally anything could happen, but the flip side of “anything can happen” is the most disappointing year imaginable under head coach Kirk Ferentz, which 2016 is slowly starting to become. I could harp on the rushing defense or lament that starting quarterback C.J. Beathard has no one open to throw to.

But what’s the point? These things are inherent and obvious. Sad, almost. This season already has become a disappointing sequel to a movie. You absolutely loved the first one and even went to the trouble of buying it on BluRay because it was so good.

Then the second one comes out and there’s massive amounts of excitement. Despite the back of your mind going, “There’s no way a second one can top this,” the hope is that this is the one time where it can live up to your (very high) expectations.

And then the movie sucks, and you’re mad because you wasted money on a ticket, got your hopes up, and made your friends come with you only to be crushed when the film was garbage.

Iowa is 3-2, with wins against Miami (Ohio), Iowa State, and Rutgers. None of those teams will go to a bowl this season or (more than likely) end with a winning record. The two losses have come against a good Football Championship Series team and a school that lost to a bad FCS team.

The Hawkeyes are not as good as they were last season. It’s the new reality, and it’s time to accept that. More likely than not, the team will finish with six or seven wins, squeaking into a bad bowl no one really has a whole lot of interest in going to.

Losing to Northwestern only solidified things. Granted it was wet and dreary, but it was a game the Hawkeyes had to win. A victory would have put them one-up in the race for the Big Ten West Division title and restored a bit of hope after a loss to North Dakota State and a bad showing against Rutgers.

Now, Iowa is already a game back. With how good Nebraska and Wisconsin look, there is not a whole lot of hope they can return to the heights of 2015.

Last season was fun and dandy, but it was only a short reprieve from the mediocrity that’s consumed Iowa football the last five years.

The Hawkeyes have already failed to showcase themselves as an elite program, and now, the only question is if there is any rebound in sight for this team.

Iowa heads to Minnesota this week to play in TCF Bank Stadium. The last time it went there, the Gophers embarrassed the Hawkeyes, 51-14.

It might take a miracle to avoid that fate once again.

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