Hawkeyes finish at No. 15 in AP Top 25

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Ihmir Smith-Marsette #6 of the Iowa Hawkeyes runs for a touchdown past Talanoa Hufanga #15 of the USC Trojans during the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl at SDCCU Stadium on December 27, 2019 in San Diego, California. Iowa won 49-24. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The Hawkeyes landed at No. 15 in the final AP Top 25 poll of the season.

It’s the sixth time a Kirk Ferentz Iowa football team has ended up in the top 15 and eighth time in the AP Top 25, joining the 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2015 and 2018 Hawkeyes.

And as promised, Iowa’s 49-24 Holiday Bowl victory secured the first wire-to-wire stay in the AP Top 25 all season since 1991.

Ohio State led the Big Ten contingent at No. 3, behind national champion LSU and national finalist Clemson.

Penn State, Minnesota and Wisconsin sit at 9-10-11 and you could probably juggle those three teams in any order in those three spots. And I wouldn’t argue if you slotted the 3-loss Hawkeyes at No. 12, right behind the 4-loss Badgers.

But 15 fits.

2019 also marked another year where Iowa passed an overhyped Michigan in the poll. Iowa was 20th and Michigan 7th to start the season.

Look for those rankings to return in next year’s preseason poll. One national writer’s way-too-early 2020 poll revealed before the national championship game had Iowa unranked and Iowa State 10th. It’s cool. I maintain the mainstream sports media learned what leads to clicks and engagement online from watching Colin Cowherd in 2015: Troll Iowa.

Now of course, I know the now-18th-ranked Wolverines beat the Hawkeyes head-to-head, 10-3 in Ann Arbor. I was there.

It’s still not a bad loss, but of the three that barely got away, that one was absolutely the most winnable.

Iowa’s Holiday Bowl opponent, the formerly No. 22 USC Trojans, dropped out of the poll.

But don’t worry: As one blue blood falls, there’s always another to take its place.

Texas is back… at No. 25 with five losses. Enjoy the offseason.

For more Hawkeye coverage, follow @AdamJRossow and @HawkeyeHQ on Twitter and Facebook — and sign up for our HawkeyeHQ.com pregame and postgame newsletter. All you need is an email address and we’ll send you a newsletter every Friday and Monday during football season.

Running back Tyler Goodson #15 of the Iowa Hawkeyes rushes up field during the second half in front of linebacker Mariano Sori-Marin #55 of the Minnesota Gophers on November 16, 2019 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

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