I really don't like where we're at as a fanbase when we're scared of Northern Iowa. I don't care if they're ranked #7 in the latest FCS poll. I really don't. It might be because I think that we should never, ever, be worse than Northern Iowa (and we really shouldn't). It might be because most of their recruits are guys that would have had to walk on here, or wouldn't make the team. But when I start seeing articles that a UNI win would not be an upset, I throw up in my mouth just a little. Let's look at the list of 13 reasons that "a UNI win would not be an upset", purely on the basis of shits and/or giggles.
1. Eric Sanders
Eh, maybe, but it's not like he tore apart the defense last year with anything more than screens and bubble plays. Average yardage per completion last year was 6.9 yards. OK. Sanders could play at a D-I school, I don't doubt that, but he's not god's gift to short, white quarterbacks.
2. Coaching tenure
Yuh-huh. Mark Farley > Gene Chizik due to Chizik having coached one football game.
3. Closing the deal
I'm guessing the Clones took UNI a little more lightly last year than they should have. Preparation should not be an issue for this coaching staff.
4. Appalachian State
UNI lost to Appy State in the DI-AA Championship Game two years ago. Gotta count for something.
Like the history that shows UNI without a win against us since the Walden years?
6. Sagarin ratings
Yup. Just like UNI is ranked ahead of Iowa State this week, I'm sure that Appy State started ahead of Michigan.
7. Lofty objectives
So wait, a victory over Iowa State is a big one, even if its not an upset?
8. Maturity on line
UNI's guys have played more games against quality foes such as Indiana State and Minnesota State, I'll give them that.
9. Familiar stadium
What's Farley's record in Ames again?
10. No Jon Davis
The same Jon Davis that had the dropsies and only really broke out against UNI? Maybe he can work for their scout team.
11. Depth vs. stamina
Iowa State has more depth. I'm pretty sure UNI would be screwed without Sanders.
12. Rush defense
Kent State also had a quarterback in Edelman that scrambled all over. Jarvis was talented, but that rush game was set up just as much by a scrambling quarterback, something that Sanders tends not to do as much.
13. Special teams
Aside from the kicking game, I don't really think ST can be classified as an area where UNI might have an advantage.
I realize I made short, half-assed comebacks to these reasons, but that's about as much effort as the Des Moines Register staff put into this.
Although, I guess, we'd be a much different team with Jon Davis this year.