Iowa's last win as a double-digit underdog: 2000

Hawkeyes 10-point dogs vs. Nebraska as of early Sunday night

Published: November 20 2011 | 5:02 pm - Updated: 3 April 2014 | 6:15 am in

Sunday afternoon's opening line in Nevada sports books for Friday's Nebraska-Iowa game was Nebraska by 10.5 points.

That surprised me considering the Cornhuskers are coming off a 45-17 loss at Michigan. I would have thought the line would have been a point or two less. We'll see how the line moves as we get closer to Friday. Fifty-eight minutes after Wynn Las Vegas installed Nebraska as a 10.5-point pick, it lowered the number to 10.

Iowa's last victory as an underdog of 10 points or more was 11 years ago, at home against Northwestern. But that's not really a bad omen, Hawkeye fans.

You see, the Hawkeyes have been double-digit dogs a mere three times (well, now four) since the end of the 2000 season. They were 13-point dogs at Michigan in 2004 and lost by 13. They were 12-point dogs at Michigan in 2006 and lost by 14. They were 16-point dogs at Ohio State in 2009 and lost by 3 in overtime.

In Kirk Ferentz's first two seasons as Iowa's coach -- 1999 and 2000 -- the Hawkeyes were double-digit dogs 15 times. They won two of those games. But just four such occasions in the following 11 seasons? That says something pretty positive about the program, no?

Iowa has been a single-digit underdog 19 times in the last five seasons. Its record in those games is 10-9 (1-2 this season). That's pretty good, too. The Hawkeyes were underdogs in their last two bowl games, the Orange against Georgia Tech (6 points) and the Insight against Missouri (3 points). They won both.

UPDATE: The line on Iowa-Nebraska dropped to 9.5 points on Monday at Las Vegas sports books.

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