After beating the Michigan Wolverines in the Big House on Saturday, 38-28, the Iowa Hawkeyes moved up to No. 13 in the Associated Press Coaches Poll and No. 12 in the USA Today poll.
The Big Ten continued to hold strong in the AP polls with Michigan State at No. 8, Wisconsin at No. 10 and Ohio State knocked down to No. 11 after riding the No. 1 spot last week.
On Sunday, the first BCS poll had been released and Iowa came in at No. 15. From the computer rankings the Hawkeyes were No. 17 and via old school human voting in the Coaches and Harris’ poll, the team was No. 12.
While the Hawkeyes had two great conference wins, many in Hawkeye Nation still feel burned by the team’s loss to Arizona last month. As Iowa continues its conference play, their schedule becomes increasingly difficult as they face Wisconsin this week and Michigan State on October 30. Both games will be held at Kinnick Stadium. While still an extremely important game, but slightly less so after last week’s loss, the Hawkeyes also have Ohio State on their to-do list; that game is on November 20 and it will also be played at home.
And let’s not forget the Hawkeye’s challenges when playing Northwestern (a November 13 away game this year).
Each win by Iowa will help them advance in the national and BCS rankings. While there’s been a lot of upsets in the last few weeks (who knew being No. 1 was such a jinx?), the dreams of a National Championship for the Hawkeyes are really extremely slim and the planets would really have to align; however, a long-awaited return to the Rose Bowl is not out of the question.
Iowa is still very much in the race for the Big Ten championship. Michigan State is beatable and next week’s game in Iowa City should help pave the way for a potential conference champ. Fortunate for Michigan State, the team doesn’t play Ohio State but after the Hawkeyes comes Wisconsin. There’s lots of time for the Big Ten teams to have one–maybe two losses–and still remain in contention.
Stay tuned and let’s take it one game at a time.
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Written by Debbie Baratz