Can Iowa make a return trip to Indianapolis?
That’s a question a lot of people have been asking as we head into the college football season. Iowa returns one of the B1G’s best quarterbacks in Nate Stanley and probably the best defensive lineman in the sport in A.J. Epenesa. Those are pretty good anchors for success in a division considered to be wide open.
Iowa’s secondary did take a major hit from last season, and with tight ends Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson both gone, the Hawkeyes will have to search elsewhere for yardage in their passing attack. Still, this is a team with a solid core with strong offensive line play that could challenge in the West.
A tough schedule, particularly in the crossover conference games, could be the biggest hindrance to Iowa’s pursuit of a second trip to Indianapolis in a five-year span. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, a tough slate could stand between the Hawkeyes and a B1G title.
Here’s how ESPN’s FPI is predicting every game on Iowa’s schedule this fall:
- August 31: vs. Miami (OH) — 94.7% win probability
- September 7: vs. Rutgers — 92.2% win probability
- September 14: at Iowa State — 40.7% win probability
- September 28: vs. Middle Tennessee — 93.8% win probability
- October 5: at Michigan — 16.1% win probability
- October 12: vs. Penn State — 44.1% win probability
- October 19: vs. Purdue — 82.7% win probability
- October 26: at Northwestern — 63.4% win probability
- November 9: at Wisconsin — 53.7% win probability
- November 16: vs. Minnesota — 62.8% win probability
- November 23: vs. Illinois — 87.3% win probability
- November 29: at Nebraska — 48.6% win probability
Other ESPN FPI predictions: