Iowa Football: Hawkeye Fans Now Confident in Big Ten West Title

Every week could make a world of distinction. Three weeks can flip a season on its head. At many packages, that flipping of fates has meant misplaced seasons and crushed hopes. In Iowa City, it is meant new life and a resurgence for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Three weeks in the past, Iowa was tied for Northwestern for final place in the Big Ten West. They had been under .500 on the season and our ballot query was asking about who to fireplace and which quarterback needs to be in the beginning lineup as all of us moved on to subsequent season.

But the Hawkeyes throttled the Wildcats. Every week later they did the identical to the Purdue Boilermakers. And simply once we thought the opposite shoe would drop, the Hawkeyes defeated the Wisconsin Badgers in Kinnick final week to convey residence the Heartland Trophy.

Now, three weeks later, Iowa is in first place in the West and two wins away from successful the division. Granted, they want the Illini to lose to Michigan (or Northwestern subsequent week), however that appears to be a formality at this level given the 18-point unfold.

But questions stay about this crew. The protection continues to be stellar, however the offense as soon as once more struggled in opposition to the Badgers per week in the past. Despite trying competent in back-to-back weeks in opposition to Northwestern and Purdue, Iowa grew to become the primary crew in greater than 20 years to report fewer than 150 complete yards of offense and win a recreation.

In all 4 of Iowa’s matchups this season in opposition to top-10 defenses nationally, the Hawkeyes have come up quick. They’ve scored a complete of 37 factors in these 4 video games (simply over 9 factors per recreation). On Saturday, they may face their fifth top-10 protection of the season after they journey to Minneapolis. The forecast is for temperatures in the mid-teens with wind gusts taking the wind chill to close zero.

Can Iowa actually convey residence the bacon from the frigid north and lastly overcome their offensive woes in opposition to a prime protection? According to Hawkeye followers, sure. A full 72% of Iowa followers polled count on the Hawkeyes to beat the Gophers on Saturday.

That’s down barely from the 80% of followers who predicted Iowa would beat Minnesota when requested earlier than the season started, however given how issues have trended this yr it is definitely increased than if the query was requested a couple of weeks in the past.

Another factor that’s trending in a constructive course is Iowa followers’ ideas concerning the season win complete. At the outset of the yr, Hawkeye followers polled anticipated roughly 8.5 wins from Iowa on common. Throughout the season, that quantity has slumped and dipped to some extent the place nicely greater than half of followers anticipated Iowa to complete with a shedding report.

That pattern has reversed because of the present successful streak. Now, per week after simply 29% of followers anticipated Iowa to complete the yr with 8 wins, 71% of followers polled this week suppose the Hawkeyes will win out. Interestingly, 97% count on Iowa to win at the very least considered one of their two remaining video games.

That newfound optimism for Iowa on the sphere, mixed with Purdue’s win over Illinois per week in the past and the Illini’s troublesome matchup in Ann Arbor on Saturday are driving a whole reversal in the polls on who will win the West.

Every week in the past, 74% of followers anticipated Illinois to emerge on the prime and signify the division in Indianapolis. After their loss to the Boilermarkers, that quantity has dipped to only 5%. That’s as a result of Illinois now wants Iowa and Purdue to drop video games down the stretch in the event that they occur to lose to Michigan on Saturday.

In line with the 72% of followers calling for an Iowa win in Minneapolis and 71% anticipating the Hawkeyes to win out, 70% of followers now suppose Iowa will win the West. That’s up from simply 18% per week in the past.

The remaining 25% is break up between Purdue (17%), that means followers suppose Iowa will lose to Minnesota or Nebraska, Purdue will beat each Northwestern and Indiana and Minnesota will lose to both Iowa or Wisconsin. The 8% choosing the Gophers to win the West have Iowa dropping a recreation (or extra), Minnesota working the desk and Purdue falling to the Wildcats or Hoosiers.

There are a number of situations nonetheless in play in the wild, wild, West. We’ll start to realize readability as Saturday wears on. Illinois and Michigan kick off at 11am CT on ABC. Purdue and Northwestern additionally kick off at 11 and could be discovered on FS1. So Hawkeye and Gopher followers will each know if their path to a division title is open for the taking by the point the kick off at 3pm CT. That recreation, after all, will probably be broadcast on FOX.

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