Iowa’s highly-anticipated matchup with Iowa State is already starting to draw national buzz.

The Hawkeyes and Cyclones didn’t play last season as the Big Ten eliminated nonconference games due to COVID-19, but both programs independently had standout seasons.

Iowa State qualified for the Big 12 title game, and Iowa came within one game of doing the same in the Big Ten.

These two teams have also become known for playing tight contests. Two of the last three and five of the last nine meetings have been decided by a field goal or less.

With all that in mind, CBS analyst David Cobb has this game circled as his “Game of the Year” prediction for college football in 2021. Here’s an excerpt of his explanation:

“Last year’s game was wiped out by the Big Ten’s conference-only scheduling, marking the first time since 1976 that the series was not contested. Missing a game in the Cy-Hawk series was a real downer since it ended up being the first time that both simultaneously finished a season in the top 20. The game’s absence from last year’s slate should make anticipation even higher on both sides as Iowa and Iowa State each enter with conference title and College Football Playoff aspirations.

The last two in the series played at ISU’s Jack Trice Stadium were decided by a total of four points, both going in Iowa’s favor. It would be no surprise if this one is similarly close as these fierce rivals square off in the national spotlight.”

Other games picked by CBS analysts include Georgia-Clemson and Alabama-Ole Miss.

Iowa is currently leading the all-time series 46-22 vs. the Cyclones and has won five consecutive games vs. its in-state rival.

Iowa and Iowa State’s matchup is on Sept. 11 at 2:30 p.m. CT.