IOWA CITY, Iowa – Tevaun Smith said that he would watch Tuesday night’s show revealing the first college football playoff poll of the season. The Iowa senior won’t put much stock in the results, however.
“It doesn’t matter. We’re 8-0. That’s all that matters,” the receiver said.
Some players here during Tuesday’s press conference at the Iowa football performance center admitted they’ll watch to see where they’re ranked. Others said they have more important things to do, like homework, at that time. They all agreed with Smith that their standing won’t mean much to them.
The unbeaten Hawkeyes (4-0 Big Ten) rank 10th in the Associated Press Poll and are one spot lower in the Coaches’ Poll. They sit behind one-loss teams Alabama, Notre Dame and Stanford in both.
“I guess is fuels our fire, us being ranked lower than certain teams with one loss and we have no losses,” Smith said.
Those polls don’t impact who goes to the college football playoff, however. That’s determined by a 12-member committee who votes. That’s the list due to be released tonight.
Commentators from around the country, for the most part, loathe Iowa’s position on the landscape this season. They shoot holes in the Hawkeyes’ resume and eagerly await their fall. Again, it doesn’t matter here, according to the principles.
“We’re just worried about us. All that hype doesn’t do anything for us,” Smith said.
Smith avoids the negativity with a simple strategy.
“I don’t watch ESPN,” he said. “I like watching stuff other than ESPN. I like watching NFL Network that talks a lot less about college football. I do that personally and Coach (Kirk) Ferentz and all the coaches talk about it every day (blocking it out).”
INJURY REPORT: Ferentz said that running back Jordan Canzeri and offensive tackle Ike Boettger, both with ankle injuries, are improving but likely won’t play this weekend at Indiana.
“They may go and travel. We’ll see how the rest of this week goes. They are making progress. I don’t see either of them playing, but at least they’re getting closer. We’re starting to see them gaining ground here,” the coach said.
Defensive End Nate Meier’s left arm was in a sling after Saturday’s 31-15 win against Maryland. It’s an injury that’s been with him since early in the season.
“It’s irritation. That’s what it came down to. Some inflammation in there. MRI, everything is good. He’s a tough guy. I expect him to play,” Ferentz said.
SIDELINED: Third-string Quarterback Ryan Boyle was noticeably absent from Saturday’s dressed list. It represented the first time this season that the true freshman from West Des Moines Dowling Catholic was not in uniform.
“Dressing is a privilege,” Ferentz said. “Our guys earn the right to dress. Simple as that. We have criteria you have to meet every week to get there. If guys don’t meet that criteria, they don’t dress out.”
Classmate Drew Cook served as the team’s third-team quarterback against Maryland. Ferentz and Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis have said he and Boyle are expected to red shirt this season.
AHEAD OF THE GAME: Ferentz said back-up quarterback Tyler Wiegers has had more time to prepare to play than did James Vandenberg in 2009 when he was thrust into duty because of an injury to starter Ricky Stanzi.
Like Vandenberg, Wiegers is the No. 2 as a redshirt freshman. Unlike his predecessor, Wiegers is receiving more first-team reps with starter C.J. Beathard nursing injuries the last several weeks.
In ’09, Stanzi remained healthy during the team’s 9-0 start. He gobbled up the No. 1 reps until leaving with a knee injury in Week 10 against Northwestern.
“With C.J.’s deal, we’ve rested him, I don’t want to say quite a bit, because that’s not accurate, but during the bye week we did certainly. Judicious with his reps right now, just like with anybody that’s got some injury issues,” Ferentz said
“So it’s given Tyler more of an opportunity to work with the first group. That’s always a healthy thing. Things look a lot different when you get into another huddle. He’s doing a good job. That’s a benefit of somebody being out, just kind of like Parker (Hesse) got a lot better when Drew (Ott) had his elbow issue, too. Hopefully he’ll be a better player when he does get his opportunity.”
QUICK-HITTERS: Indiana co-defensive coordinator William Inge played defensive end for the Hawkeyes from 1993-96. ..Nate Sudfeld is tied for the top spot in Indiana school history with 48 career passing touchdowns…Iowa limits its opponents to 2.8 yards per carry — fifth best in the country…IU has recorded at least two takeaways in six of its last 10 games and at least one in 14 consecutive…Indiana has turned it over eight times (3 interceptions and 5 fumbles) – 2nd in the B1G and T-16th nationally…The Hawkeyes have 24 sacks, fifth best in the conference. Indiana has allowed the fewest sacks in the Big Ten (10)…Iowa averages 32.6 points per game, fifth best in the Big Ten. Indiana allows 37.2 points per game, more than any other Big Ten team.