Fresh off a 10-win season in 2019, ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) is expecting Iowa to be back in contention for the B1G West title this year, even with a revised schedule.

The Hawkeyes finished the 2019 campaign with a 10-3 record last fall, with losses only to Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin. They ended the year with an exclamation point, too, defeating USC in the Holiday Bowl.

Iowa enters the year losing three-year starting quarterback Nate Stanley, star offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs and talented defensive end A.J. Epenesa. There’s a lot of production to replace on both sides of the football. But there’s also a lot of depth at wide receiver and in the secondary, and Iowa is always a strong team in the trenches.

Losing spring football and having extended time between padded practices could hurt Iowa as a team that focuses on fundamentals, at least in the early going. Fortunately for the Hawkeyes, the lighter portion of the season is at the front of the year, with the beef of the schedule coming between Nov. 14 and Nov. 28 before a season-ending showdown with the Badgers.

Iowa has been one of the most consistent programs in the B1G West. ESPN’s FPI is predicting more of the same in 2020, although it currently does not have a projection for the final game of the year against Wisconsin:

  • Oct. 24: at Purdue — 69.9% chance of victory
  • Oct. 31: vs. Northwestern — 51.6% chance of victory
  • Nov. 7: vs. Michigan State — 81.4% chance of victory
  • Nov. 14: at Minnesota — 49.7% chance of victory
  • Nov. 21: at Penn State — 18.2% chance of victory
  • Nov. 28: vs. Nebraska — 63.8% chance of victory
  • Dec. 5: at Illinois — 70.4% chance of victory
  • Dec. 12: vs. Wisconsin — N/A