Sports Illustrated doesn’t just have preseason college football rankings, it projects won-lost records for all the FBS teams.
It says Iowa nonconference opponents Iowa State, Arizona and Ball State will go 3-9, 8-4 and 5-7, respectively, in the regular-season.
It says Minnesota will finish last in the Big Ten, at 1-7 in league play and 2-10 overall. Guess that means the Gophers won’t beat USC in Minneapolis. Or Middle Tennessee State in Murfreesboro.
It also says Ohio State will go 12-0 and Iowa 11-1. Which means the Buckeyes would defeat the Hawkeyes Nov. 20 at Kinnick Stadium in a pairing of 10-0 teams. It would surely be Game of the Year to that point in college football.
Well, I say the odds of both clubs being unbeaten entering that game are about 20-1 at best no matter how good they may be. There are just too many potholes in Big Ten schedules, too many capable league opponents, too many ways things can go bad on one given day.
But what if I’m wrong? What if OSU and Iowa are 10-0 when they meet? My question to Iowa fans is this:
Could you handle that week leading up to the Game of the Decade in college football?
Can you imagine the hysteria? How many hours of sleep would the red-hot Hawkeye fans among you sleep after the results of the previous Saturday had been put away and OSU-Iowa became the Game of the Century?
I think thousands of heads in Iowa and Ohio would explode. Not literally. Probably not, anyway.
Would there be enough hours in the day to handle all the hype? How much would Iowa’s population swell that week as national media filled Iowa City and ventured all the way to distant places like Tiffin and West Branch to capture images of cornfields and hogs?
The Sporting News is putting you through no such visions of sugarplums. TSN says Ohio State and Wisconsin will finish ahezad of Iowa in the Big Ten. That means (brace yourself, Hawkeye fans), Iowa will not only lose at home to the Buckeyes, but to the Badgers.
That’s The Sporting News, Hawkeyes. The audacity! To say Iowa will only win 10 games? The gall!
OK, preseason predictions and rankings are all for fun. These magazines wouldn’t print them if they didn’t get people a little stirred up and talking about them.
You Iowa fans just worry about Eastern Illinois. One game at a time. Improvement from week to week, day to day. You’ve got to pace yourselves, or you won’t be in prime condition for the Game of the Millennium on Nov. 20.