247Sports lists Iowa Hawkeyes as team to sell in 2022

Iowa enjoyed a fast 6-0 start in 2021 and rode a four-game winning streak to close the regular season to a Big Ten West division title. A scoring offense that ranked just 99th nationally kept the Hawkeyes from soaring to greater heights, but, all in all, it was a very successful 2021 season.

Now, as Iowa replaces its top running back, a pair of talented offensive linemen and several key defensive players, there’s mixed feelings about what kind of team the Hawkeyes will field in 2022. 247Sports writer Brad Crawford listed Iowa as one of his top 25 teams to sell in 2022.

With an average preseason ranking of No. 17 (across six major polls), it may be hard for the Hawkeyes to live up to outsiders who obviously labeled Kirk Ferentz’s team as a contender in the Big Ten. Iowa plays top 10s Michigan and Ohio State in 2022 after missing both during last year’s 10-win campaign. Schedule favorability means a great deal in one of college football’s competitive leagues and this fall, that’s not an advantage for the Hawkeyes. Iowa’s core of linebackers will rank near the top of college football, but there are questions elsewhere in key spots. – Crawford, 247Sports.

Looking at the schedule, the dates versus Michigan on Oct. 1 and at Ohio State on Oct. 22 do ratchet up the difficulty meter. Ohio State is one of the most popular picks to reach the College Football Playoff and Iowa knows all too well that Michigan is the defending Big Ten champion. The Wolverines beat the Hawkeyes 42-3 in the Big Ten championship game last season.

Crawford mentioned Iowa’s linebackers. The Hawkeyes return arguably the nation’s best tandem in seniors Seth Benson and Jack Campbell. Campbell finished last season with 143 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, a pair of interceptions and one sack. Meanwhile, Benson added 105 total tackles,…

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