Northwestern upsets Iowa for the second straight year

EVANSTON, IL - OCTOBER 23: Head coach Pat Fitzgerald of the Northwestern Wildcats encourages his team as they take on the Michigan State Spartans at Ryan Field on October 23, 2010 in Evanston, Illinois. Michigan State defeated Northwestern 35-27. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The last time Iowa faced Northwestern was last year when the Hawkeyes were 9-0 and streaking towards a date with Ohio State for the chance to play in the Rose Bowl.

But the Wildcats ruined Iowa’s dreams then and then did it again this year.

For the fifth time in the last six meetings between these two teams, Northwestern was able to get the best of Iowa in a dramatic 24-17 win at Ryan Field in Evanston. The Wildcats were trailing 17-7 after Hawkeyes’ quarterback Ricky Stanzi threw two touchdown passes early in the third quarter. But Brian Peters picked off Stanzi near the goal line in the fourth quarter and the Northwestern comeback was on.

Dan Persa found Jeremy Ebert on a 6-yard touchdown pass with 6:21 remaining in the game to cut Iowa’s lead to 17-14, then Persa threw up a jump ball that Demetrius Fields snagged for another score with just 1:22 on the clock. Stanzi drove the Hawkeyes into Northwestern territory, but a 4th-and-16 Hail Mary attempt fell incomplete with six seconds left and the Wildcats hung on for the win.

Outside of Ohio State, Northwestern is the only other team that Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz has a losing record against. Without a chance to win the Big Ten, Iowa will try to ruin Ohio State’s chances next week at home at 3:30PM ET.

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Iowa loses its top running back

No. 7 Iowa was dealt a blow on Tuesday when head coach Kirk Ferentz announced that top running back Adam Robinson will miss the rest of the regular season due to an ankle injury.


Coach Kirk Ferentz said he was hopeful Robinson can return for a bowl game after suffering a high left ankle sprain in last week’s 15-13 win at Michigan State. The back said he rolled the ankle late in the game.

The loss of Robinson, who rushed for 629 yards and five TDs, shrinks what’s already a slim margin of error for the 7th-ranked Hawkeyes, who rank 86th in the nation in scoring offense.

Iowa (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten) will replace Robinson with fellow freshman Brandon Wegher, who has for 321 yards in relief of Robinson this season. Iowa hosts Indiana on Saturday.

The Hawkeyes are big on Wegher, although he hasn’t flashed the top end speed that he did coming out of high school. But now that he’s going to be the primary back, he’ll have the opportunity to get into a groove and pick up the tempo of the game. He certainly has a ton of talent, and Iowa will be relying on him heavily the next two months.

This is a huge blow, but Iowa has overcome adversity and battled all season.

Best and worst college football coaches for the buck put together a collection of the best and worst college football coaches for the money.

Jim Tressel
No. 1 Most Underpaid
Ohio State University, Buckeyes
Conference: Big Ten
Score: 122
Record since 2005: 33-5 (1-2 in BCS bowl games)
His teams have finished ranked in the top five in five of the past six years, while his $2.6 million salary was lower than eight of his peers last season.

Pete Carroll
No. 4 Most Underpaid
University of Southern California, Trojans
Conference: Pac-10
Score: 114
Record since 2005: 34-5 (2-1 in BCS bowl games)
Carroll has led the Trojans to unmatched success this decade, including two national championships, yet he is 14% underpaid despite being college football’s highest earning coach at $4.4 million.

Kirk Ferentz
No. 1 Most Overpaid
University of Iowa, Hawkeyes
Conference: Big Ten
Score: 71
Record since 2005: 19-18 (1-2 in bowl games)
Ferentz has posted a mediocre record over the last three seasons but still pocketed $3.4 million last year.

Charlie Weis
No. 3 Most Overpaid
University of Notre Dame, Fighting Irish
Conference: none
Score: 84
Record since 2005: 22-15 (0-2 in BCS bowl games)
Last year’s three-win season–the worst for the Fighting Irish in 44 years–was the second in a 10-year contract extension for Weis, reportedly worth between $30 and $40 million over the length of the deal.

Interesting figures. It’s hard to blame a university like Notre Dame for doling out big bucks to try and turn around the football program. At the same time, ND’s season last year was a joke and Weis had more than a few boneheaded calls.

One thing Forbes forgot to mention about Tressel is that he’s absolutely owned Michigan during his tenure – something that means even more to Buckeye fans than finishing in the top 5 every year.

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