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Hawkeyes receive major blow before season even starts, yet again

What else is new around the Iowa football program as of late. Seriously, if it's not a running back transferring or going down to injury in camp, it's a player getting in trouble with the law, or it's a prized recruit seeing a fight break out in the locker room (allegedly). Point being things over the past three years haven't exactly gone Kirk Ferentz's ideal way in Iowa City. 

That continued on Sunday night as the No. 1 ranked guard in the country for the 2014 class, Ross Pierschbacher, was flipped from the Hawkeyes to…. Alabama. What really burns the Hawkeyes in this one is that Pierschbacher literally grew up a Hawkeye fan, hailing from Cedar Falls, IA.

Consider this not just a blow to the Hawkeyes, but to the Big Ten in general. Pierschbacher was a highly sought after recruit by everyone in the Midwest and at one point it was thought the race would come down to Iowa and Wisconsin. However, the Hawkeyes appeared to win out on the home state prospect. 

The fact that he was flipped shouldn't be a huge surprise, but the fact that a kid from the heart of the Midwest was flipped to the SEC is a major blow to the confidence and the narrative that the Big Ten's recruiting profile was on the upswing. 

Wisconsin swung for the fences and landed one of the best dual-threat QB's in the country, doing so in the heart of SEC country (Florida). Ohio State and Michigan have won battles repeatedly against the SEC (yes, they've also lost a fair share too) and Northwestern has been pulling in an impressive class from all over the country as well. 

While losing one recruit may not be huge, it's not a good sign when a guy who was born and football raised to be a Hawkeye uproots and does it for the SEC as well. If the Big Ten and its teams can't even keep the best of the best inside their own footprint that's not going to look very good down the road. 

It's equally not a good sign when the local sports writers are freaking out about this decommitment and flip. Pat Hardy, writing for HawCentral.com (part of the Des Moines Register and Iowa City Press-Citzen family), flat out called this "yet another example of how Iowa has become irrelevant on the big stage." 

Harty spoke the truth to say the least and continued recruiting blows like this one and the fails over the last three years (Melvin Gordon sure would look nice to Hawkeye fans right now, huh?) can't bode well for the future of Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa program.

Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadger and associate editor of Bloguin's World Cup site, 32flags.com as well as Publisher of Big Ten site talking10.com

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