Yes, it’s true that I am an Iowa State fan, but more than that I’m a college football fan. So I decided to take a crack at predicting the 2016 Iowa football season. Enjoy.
September 3rd – Miami (OH) RedHawks
Game number one of Iowa’s seven home games this season. I fully expect the Hawkeyes to be ready to go for this matchup with a MAC team, who despite returning thirteen starters, will be no match for Iowa. They should win this game by 17 or more. W.
September 10th – Iowa State Cyclones
I’m sure this is where you all expect me to go “homer” on you. Sorry to let you down here guys, but I see this as another game Iowa will win. I do think this will be their closest non-conference game and should be a really well fought battle, but I just don’t think Iowa State has the horses up front to compete at the same level as Iowa. Barring any major injuries in week 1 for both team, The Hawks will be too much for ISU and move to 2-0. W.
September 17th – North Dakota State Bison
The third consecutive home game will prove to be a real test for the Hawkeyes. The Bison are one of the best FCS teams around and I could easily see them hanging around until the fourth quarter where Iowa’s depth and talent should shine through and pull out the win for them. This could be close late in the game before Ferentz and co. pull away, much like the Cy-Hawk game of last year. W.
September 24th – @ Rutgers Scarlet Knights
When I first looked at the Hawks schedule for this season I actually thought this could be their first loss. I have Rutgers at 2-1 coming off back to back wins and feeling pretty good about themselves, but I don’t think this team has improved enough just yet under Rob Ash and Iowa wins easily in NJ. W.
October 1st – Northwestern Wildcats
The Wildcats return eleven starters from a three-loss team of 2015 which included a thirty point loss at home to the Hawks. Naturally, most people will pick Iowa in this home game, but I’m giving Iowa their first loss here. I think Pat Fitzgerald will have the Wildcats fired up and ready to pull off the upset on the road in beautiful Iowa City. Fitzgerald is 5-5 against the Hawks since he took over in 2006 and has previously indicated that he feels this game is more of a rivalry than Iowa thinks it is. Don’t get me wrong, this would be an upset for sure, but I’m predicting a Wildcat victory. L.
October 8th – @ Minnesota Golden Gophers
Iowa’s second road game takes them north, to Minnesota, who returns five on each side of the ball. This is one game I’ve gone back and forth on as I think Minnesota will be a bowl team and pretty decent overall. However, there’s just too many question marks surrounding the program right now for me to pick this as a win for them. Iowa will likely be on upset alert if they’re undefeated at this point because you know how the national media loves to talk about an undefeated Iowa. Floyd of Rosedale stays in Iowa City. W.
October 15th – @ Purdue Boilermakers
This is another game that looks like an easy win at a glance but after digging into Purdue a little bit I think they could have a really decent ground attack this year. Let’s get real though, it’s hard to beat Iowa on the ground. They could keep it close, but there’s just no way they trip Iowa up this year. I’ll go with a 10 point win here for the Hawkeyes. W.
October 22nd – Wisconsin Badgers
Wisky (can I call you wisky?) has a tough schedule this year and has this game sandwiched between OSU and Nebraska. What a tough stretch for a team bringing back just four starters on offense and five on defense. The Badgers lost to Iowa last year by four at home, this year won’t be nearly that close. Give me another double digit Hawkeye victory. W.
October 29th – OFF
As I always say “you can’t lose this week unless someone gets arrested”.
November 5th – @ Penn State Nittany Lions
Most people will tell you that the toughest game on the Hawkeyes’ schedule is the Michigan game the week after this one. I agree with that statement based on talent, but mentally this sets up as a trap game. Iowa could very well still be undefeated, which would put a massive star on the calendar and potential College Game Day spot on the Michigan game. I think last year was a big culture shift in the Iowa program. I think the mental toughness matches now full matches their toughness in the trenches. The Hawkeyes show up on a mission and take care of business to set up a massive game next week in Kinnick Stadium. W.
November 12th – Michigan Wolverines
Who remembers the 2014 game against Ohio State in Kinnick? That’s what this game already reminds me of. Two highly ranked opponents with a potential Rose Bowl berth on the line, and what looks to be just a tough, physical contest where one or two plays might decide the outcome. Unfortunately, I see this one panning out just as that one did, overtime loss. L.
November 19th – @ Illinois Fighting Illini
Illinois returns nine starters from a year ago when they lost to the Hawks by nine in Kinnick. I just don’t see a loss here for the Hawks. I think they have more talent, home field advantage, really looking to punish someone after the Michigan game and will finish the season strong. This is a comfortable win for Iowa. W.
November 25th – Nebraska Cornhuskers
Nebraska returns eleven starters from last years team. This is and will continue to be a tough game to pick due to the incredible rivalry between these two schools. If you looked at the box score from last year with the score hidden, you would probably have guessed a multi-possession win by Nebraska. Thankfully, the Hawks were able to pull it out thanks to four Tommy Armstrong interceptions. Also this was one of CJB’s worst games, being held under 100 yards passing for the entire game. I’m giving the win to the home team on this one in a classic B1G matchup. W.
December 3rd – B1G Championship Game
I see the Hawkeyes winning the B1G West for the second consecutive year, and I see them in a Rose Bowl battle with whichever team misses the CFP between Ohio State and Michigan. Whether it’s the Buckeyes or Wolverines in this game, the winner could be undefeated and in position for a College Football Playoff spot, which I think makes this an insurmountable task for the Hawks. L.
January 2nd – Outback Bowl (SEC)
Outback Bowl is the prediction here with Michigan and Ohio State splitting the College Football Playoff and Rose Bowl Spots. The Hawkeyes are 4-3 against SEC teams in bowl games since 2004 (let’s go ahead and count Missouri as SEC), and I’ll go ahead and say they run an SEC team out of town in this one and finish with 11+ wins for the second consecutive year. W.