Iowa vs Washington will be one of the must-see first-time Big Ten matchups in the 18-team league this fall. However, despite coming off drastically different seasons, the two programs are facing similar win totals for 2024.

At ESPN Bet, Iowa and Washington have seen their preseason win total set at 7.5. The Hawkeyes are currently -150 to hit the over 7.5 number while the Huskies are +105 for the over, and fans can use Tradition’s sportsbooks apps in Ohio to check out the latest odds and get in on the action.

So, which team is going to have a better season in 2024? ESPN’s Greg McElroy tackled that topic in a recent episode of “Always College Football,” and he sees something to like from each team.

Washington breakdown

When it comes to the Huskies, McElroy sees a team looking to replace a ton of production and a new coaching staff. Washington produced a trio of first-round picks, including Heisman contender Michael Penix Jr., and a total of 7 picks across the first 3 rounds of this year’s draft. 6 of those picks came from the offensive side of the ball, and the other was the team’s best pass-rusher in Bralen Trice.

Along with those players, Kalen DeBoer is now the head coach at Alabama, and the bulk of his staff followed him to Tuscaloosa. McElroy does see some optimism for the quarterback spot, but it’s a tricky debut for Jedd Fisch in Seattle.

“It’s going to be really difficult to replace all their key pieces… Jedd Fisch I think is going to do a good job with the QB spot, but I think replacing all the talent off of last year is going to be incredibly difficult,” explained McElroy.

When it comes to the schedule breakdown, McElroy described some “tricky road trips,” including trips to the east to face Rutgers, Iowa, Indiana and Penn State. Overall, he sees 6 games for Washington as “legitimately losable.”

Iowa breakdown

For Iowa, the Hawkeyes are coming off a 10-4 season and are moving forward under a new offensive coordinator. “A lot of the names are the same, a significant new piece” said McElroy to describe OC Tim Lester.

What is Lester’s impact on the offense? That will ultimately go a long way in determining Iowa’s full ceiling this fall, especially with the defense already getting back a number of key faces for 2024.

“I think the offense is going to be a lot better. Defensively, they’re going to be Iowa,” McElroy said.

As for the schedule, McElroy sees one that shapes up fairly manageable, though nothing is a given if the offense continues to struggle.

Conclusion

Overall, McElroy is giving the edge to Iowa. He sees a bit of familiarity and stability with the Hawkeyes that should pay off in a search to try and get to 8 wins this fall.

“I think their familiarity with the league and understanding what it takes to win in the league and the line of scrimmage play that is elevated in the Big Ten,” said McElroy. “It makes me lean Iowa at least here in 2024.”

The fun part about the new B1G is fans will get a firsthand look at a head-to-head battle between these programs. Washington will also be the first team of the Pac-12 newcomers to play a B1G road game inside Kinnick Stadium on Oct. 12.