Once upon a time, Iowa was known as "The Bullies of the Big Ten."
In a past life, the Hawkeyes took pride in lining up on both sides of the ball and punching opponents straight in the mouth. They'd stuff the run, run the ball down your throat, and out 2-3 star-athlete your ass to 6-4 wins.
Sadly, those days are no more.
Northwestern came into Kinnick Stadium, pushed the Artists Formerly Known as Iowa around, and walked out with a 21-20 win. It'll now be at least eight long years since the Hawkeyes last beat the Wildcats in Iowa City.
A longer, more succinct and rational recap of this game will follow, but allow me to add this in the midst of my postgame haze:
We used to be able refer to that tiny private purple school to the east as j(ust)NW.
That is no more.
jNW doesn't come into your house and grind you for 143 yards on the ground.
jNW doesn't run the ball a ridiculous 60 times because they know you can't stop it.
jNW doesn't hold you to only 77 rushing yards when you have an NFL-ready left tackle.
jNW doesn't force your first-year QB to throw the ball 50 times because you have no confidence your experienced offensive line can get any sort of push.
jNW doesn't outscore you 21-3 after you're gifted 14 points in the first quarter (then have the audacity to kick a field goal from the 3 yard line).
jNW doesn't go 10-19 on third down and 2-2 on fourth down against you.
And finally, jNW doesn't beat you three-straight times at home and in 11 of the last 20 games overall. I repeat, Kirk Ferentz is now 9-11 against the Wildcats. WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE PEOPLE.
When all of this happens, when Northwestern comes into Iowa City and bullies you (see what I did there) for over three quarters, you no longer are Iowa.
In a very strange season, in the middle of an empty stadium, it felt like this was the beginning of the end for the Ferentz-era. At the very least its a quick end to any hopes of winning the Big Ten West (or anything else of note) in 2020.
But hey, at least our QB got a new nickname on national television:
Spencer Penis pic.twitter.com/ZxkgMHwVya— WWF Hall of Famer Ivan BOOlogna (@PV_GIA) October 31, 2020
Oh yeah, the Hawkeyes fall to 0-2 for the first time since 2000 with Michigan State, 1-1 and fresh off an impressive win at Michigan, coming in next week.