Schedule couldn’t be more perfect

College football schedules are set up many years in advance so there’s really no way to set the games up exactly the way you’d like them. But this season’s slate is shaping up almost perfectly so far for the Hawkeyes.

They opened with a relatively easy game against Eastern Illinois, stepped up in class Saturday with a home game against Iowa State and figure to be tested even more next Saturday night with a road game against a 2-0 Arizona team. Quarterback Ricky Stanzi admitted after the 35-7 conquest of ISU that he likes the idea of these first three games gradually building in degree of difficulty.

But the schedule even works out beautifully beyond that. After a tough night game against a good team in a distant time zone, the Hawkeyes will be tired and figure to get a late start on preparations for their next game. It works out perfectly that the next Saturday brings another cupcake – a home game against a Ball State team that lost Saturday to Liberty University.

After that, they begin to build in degree of difficulty again, hosting a Penn State team that likely is not quite as formidable as the past few Nittany Lions teams.

After that, they get a bye week prior to one of the big tests of the season – a road game against Michigan and quarterback Denard Robinson, who has rolled up about 900 yards of offense the first two games. The Wolverines aren’t the best team the Hawkeyes will play this season, but it will be the toughest environment they will face and the diversity of Robinson’s talents makes it a perfect time for an extra week of preparation.

The Hawkeyes then dive into six more weeks or Big Ten competition, including four really good football teams. The biggest drawback of the schedule is that three of the last four games are on the road although none of them are in stadiums that will be anywhere near as daunting as Michigan’s Big House.