Iowa Prediction: What’s Going To Happen
This has the look of one of those Kirk Ferentz teams that might not seem like much, but will be rock solid against a manageable schedule. There are too many holes to reasonably shoot for a Big Ten title, but with a little luck and a big early win, this might just be close to 2015 again.
It’ll take a slew of breaks, but with no Ohio State, Michigan or Michigan State from the East, and with Wisconsin and Nebraska at home, this is the year for Iowa to make its own breaks.
There won’t be a whole lot of shootouts, but the aggressive defense will make its share of takeaways again, the opportunistic offense will do its part, and the team that struggled so much with its consistency last year will start to be far steadier offensively.
Think of it this way – Iowa won eight games despite scoring fewer than 20 points six times. Granted, the Hawkeyes lost five of those, but this offense will be over 24 points on a regular basis, and that little extra boost should be enough to at least get to second in the West. Beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten opener, and there might just be a second trip to Indianapolis in the last four seasons.
Guessing The Preseason Regular Season Win Total Will Be Set At … 7.5
The non-conference schedule won’t be a problem. Northern Illinois might win the MAC, and Iowa State isn’t going to be any sort of a pushover, but the Hawkeyes should be able to take those down at home.
They’ll split the two massive games against Wisconsin and at Penn State – but they’ll misfire on two games they shouldn’t – like at Purdue, at Indiana, at Minnesota, or at home against Northwestern and Nebraska, dropping two of those five.
They’ll roll to eight regular season wins with ease, but they can reasonably dream and shoot for ten.