IOWA CITY, Iowa – During the off season, Iowa players continually talked about ignoring negativity from outside the program on the heels of a mediocre 2014. They said they were not listening to the noise.
After a 7-0 start which has them ranked No. 10 nationally in the AP Top 25 Poll, the Hawkeyes are faced with volume that’s 180 degrees from the winter and spring. They’re avoiding talk around the country that they should win out and are in the college football playoff discussion.
"Every weekend there’s examples of how wrong the experts can be. But experts don’t have to play games. Players play games, coaches have to coach them," Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said. "There’s a lot of things that can happen during the course of a week, and if you’re sitting behind a desk, with all due respect to people sitting behind a desk, but if you’re sitting behind a desk, it’s easy to give commentary on what you think might happen and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not criticizing it or making fun of it, but for the guys that have to go out and compete, it’s a whole different deal."
Said Hawkeye Quarterback C.J. Beathard: "You can’t let that stuff get to your head. Coach Ferentz talks about it all the time about the outside noise. "Before the season started, people were saying the opposite. Now all of a sudden thinking we could go undefeated and all this stuff. Who knows what they know? They don’t know much. We know that. We just have to stay focused on what we can do and focus on us."
The Hawkeyes had time to hear what was being said about them last week during the bye. Wide Receiver Tevaun Smith said he heard the compliments but was buying the sincerity of them.
"They say some good things. What out for Iowa. But I think they’re just saying that because we’re ranked. I don’t think they really mean it. As long as we just do what we do, it’s really just about us," he said.
As you can see in this All Hawkeyes video production, Ferentz and the team leaders are hammering home the message of small picture focus: