Prediction Reshuffle?

The Iowa Hawkeyes have finished their non-conference portion of the season at 3-1.  I think that’s a number a lot of fans and prognosticators believed this team would be sitting on through four games.

That said, how they have gotten there and what they have shown may be different than what some expected.  I’ll take a look at each of Iowa’s remaining eight opponents, list what I picked them to do against that opponent in the preseason and what I believe we’ll see now based on what we’ve seen these first four weeks.

at MINNESOTA  Preseason Prediction = WIN:  The Gophers are off to a 4-0 start against a softer schedule than Iowa has played.  They are running the ball well this year and it’s probably the best Minnesota team since Glen Mason was there.  That said, they have holes and I think Iowa has a better team than they do.  Jake Rudock showed moxie at Iowa State, though the Gophers are much better than the Cyclones.  There might be more Iowa fans at this game than there were for the game in Ames but this stadium doesn’t get as loud as Jack Trice Stadium does.  Freshman Mitch Leidner will likely go at quarterback as the Gophers rest Philip Nelson one more week (hamstring).  Leidner set a quarterback rushing record this week for the Gophers but he is not the throwing threat Nelson is, and Nelson started the final seven games of last season in addition to being the starter this year.  That might be a good break for the Hawkeyes and I will stay with a WIN here.

MICHIGAN STATE Preseasn Prediction = WIN:  The Spartans have a bye week in advance of their trip to Kinnick.  I think it comes at a good time for them as their quarterback situation is still pretty brutal and certainly undecided.  Their defense is still very good and I think this game will be first one to 20 wins…if anyone gets there.  I still like Iowa in this one as their running game leaves a lot to be desired, too.

at OHIO STATE Preseason Prediction = LOSS:  Still thinking this one is a loss and one that could get ugly.

NORTHWESTERN Preseason Prediction = LOSS:  I gave Iowa a better chance of beating Wisconsin than Northwestern due to stylistic reasons.  I still feel that way but also think Iowa could beat them both.  Still, I think it’s going to come down to a split in these two games and I think the odds of beating Wisconsin are better due to how Iowa plays power football better than finesse ball.

WISCONSIN Preseason Prediction = WIN: Staying with a win

at PURDUE Preseason Prediction = LOSS:  The Boilermakers are worse than I expected them to be and while they may be a better team come November, I feel better about Iowa’s chance than before and thinks the Hawks win this game.

MICHIGAN Preseason Prediction = LOSS:  Michigan’s last two weeks have given a lot of people more optimism against them in Big Ten play, and Iowa fans should feel the same.  The Hawkeyes have won three of their last four against Michigan in Kinnick and three of last four in the series.  I’ll still slide towards a loss here but I think Iowa has a shot.

at NEBRASKA Preseason Prediction = LOSS: Wyoming had over 600 yards against Nebraska in Lincoln.  UCLA scored 38 unanswered points in Lincoln.  The Huskers are hardly world beaters but it’s a very tough road game and I won’t change this pick.

I feel much better about a 7-5 record right now than I did before the season and even two weeks ago.  The Purdue game is the only one where I will change my preseason pick.

What about you?  Is this team ahead of where you thought they would be?  Behind?  About right?

  • jeffbuck

    Great play in the box. The OL has been superior; that’s why all the running backs look so good. Rudock is well beyond expectations. His awareness of what is happening on the field in the course of a play is the best I’ve seen at Iowa for a long time. One cool customer, isn’t he? … Well, let’s see what happens with the Gophers. This is a team we should beat.

  • Brian

    I was at the game on Sat., and have since watched it on DVR, my feelings are the same… As a whole, the energy and attitude on the team seams confident and positive, but the offense is meddling in the pool of inconsistency. With that being said, I am an overly optimistic Hawk Fan and have said since before the season that we’ll go 7-5! Go Hawks!!!

    • John

      I agree with Brian but think we will go 8 and 4 due to the way the team usually peaks in October, November

      • Josh Yelland

        If Meeeshegan and Nowledge U don’t cure their cranial rectal inversion disorder we may have a couple winners there.

      • westsidebilltx

        I’ll stay at 6-6.

        John, they haven’t improved in October/November since 2008; before that it was 2004. You’re repeating a Ferentzian myth.

  • Hawk-I

    Iowa still has a decent shot at 9-3. That N. Illinois game looks like a bigger shame every week. No way Iowa should have lost to that team, Jordan Lynch or not. You did see how N. Illinois did against E. Illinois on Saturday, right? Not impressive at all…

    Nothing to be done about that one, so moving on, I say Iowa has a reasonable shot at 9-3. The only almost certain loss is at Ohio State. Wisconsin, with former Iowa commit Gordon running wild, may be too much, even in Kinnick. On the other hand, Iowa owes the Badgers big time for that fake punt in 2010… I think the Hawks also take revenge on Michigan for last season’s embarrassment, then that leaves Nebraska. Iowa certainly owes the Huskers, and with that Swiss cheese defense, Iowa gets in done in Lincoln.

    So there we are: losses to N. Illinois, Ohio State, and either Wisconsin or Nebraska. That adds up to 9-3, 6-2 in the Big Ten and at least a share of the division title. Who woulda thunk it?

    Ah, but wait… If you think that’s delusional, here’s the capper. Iowa goes to the Big Ten title game and upsets Ohio State (or maybe Wisconsin) and plays in the 100th Rose Bowl game on Jan. 1. But nothing happens unless the Hawkeyes finally show up with fire in the belly and the coaches show some confidence and killer instinct, if you will, in Minneapolis on Saturday.

    • jeffbuck

      Agreed on the Goofers. It really is a critical game. Have to keep moving up. It has a little bit of the menace of a “sucker” game, like that fiasco a few years ago in Tucson. They have to show up mad for that game.

  • louie

    i believed 7-5 before year,but that was with win vs. Northern way we should of lost that game.their D is dreadful.Rudock plays 8 qtrs. last year we win that game by 2 td’s.ferentz still owes team a win.

  • John

    I am keeping my prediction at 5-7. A lot of these remaining games are winnable and Iowa may even be favored, but their easiest remaining games are on the road. They should beat Minnesota, Michigan State, and Purdue, but it really only takes 1 or 2 bad plays in either game to make the difference.

    That said, I am much more optimistic about this team’s ability to compete in Big Ten play than I was a month ago. I think this team is capable of winning 8 game, if they can continue to improve.

  • Floydthebarber

    Floyd is OUR pig. KEEP FLOYD!

  • Joyce Lee

    One game at a time. Go Hawks!

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