It’s been a hot minute since Iowa won a game like the one they’ll play in on Saturday.

And by “hot minute,” I mean “a decade.”

I know what you might be thinking. Iowa currently has Jim Harbaugh’s number, and not just because he wasn’t a fan of the pink visiting locker room. The one time that Kirk Ferentz faced the Michigan coach was that 2016 showdown that ended with a walk-off, game-winning field goal.

Who could forget this?

Yes, it’s true that the last time that Michigan saw Iowa, it also saw tens of thousands of Hawkeye fans on field level at Kinnick Stadium.

Saturday’s matchup between the two teams, however, won’t be in the friendly confines of Kinnick. It’ll be in Ann Arbor, where Iowa has historically struggled in this type of matchup.

When the Hawkeyes have faced ranked B1G East powers (Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State) on the road under Ferentz, it hasn’t been pretty. Iowa hasn’t won such a matchup since 2009. That’s 5 straight losses by an average of 14.2 points.

In fact, against those B1G East powers when ranked, Iowa is 1-9 in the last 16 seasons. Overall under Ferentz, the Hawkeyes are 3-11 in such matchups.

Two of those 3 wins came back in that magical 2002 season, which saw Iowa go 8-0 in B1G play for the first time in program history. Perhaps that’s a good indicator of when Iowa is in for a special season. The 2009 team, which later won the Orange Bowl (when Ricky delivered us the greatest soundbite in history), went into No. 5 Penn State and won.

If Iowa does go into Michigan and pull out a win on Saturday, that could be the sign that the Hawkeyes should mark their calendars for a New Year’s 6 Bowl. That’s not that crazy considering Iowa is ranked in the top 15 for the first time since, well, North Dakota State happened in 2016.

Speaking of that, in these road matchups vs. ranked B1G East powers during the Ferentz era, the Hawkeyes have only entered as a top 15 team three times. And contrary to the trend, they won one of those games … at No. 8 Michigan back in 2002.

Who could forget that?

(Confession: I actually forgot about this because if we’re being totally honest, this game was played when I was a 12 and living in the suburbs of Chicago. I wasn’t covering college football for a living yet. I was just trying to navigate the seventh grade.)

Ferentz would like that type of history to repeat itself. The betting public certainly believes there’s a chance it could happen.

Iowa opened as a 7-point underdog. That line, as of Friday morning, has since been cut in half. Clearly, there’s a belief that the Hawkeyes can beat a ranked B1G East power on the road for the first time in a decade.

And part of that is probably also rooted in the fact that Michigan was shellacked by Wisconsin a couple weeks ago. B1G West programs with similar foundations — built around the run game and a defense lacking blue chip recruits that simply gets after it — could yield similar results for Harbaugh’s team.

Then again, unlike the Wisconsin game, Saturday’s contest is in Ann Arbor, where Harbaugh is 26-4 since taking over in 2015. The last time the Wolverines lost at home was against Ohio State in the 2017 regular season finale. There were certainly be a sense of desperation in the air for Michigan, who no longer has any losses to give. Iowa has a chance to provide the dagger for what many predicted would be a get-over-the-hump season in Ann Arbor.

But in a weird way, the Hawkeyes should be equally desperate.

The weekly goal is to keep pace with a Wisconsin team that looks all sorts of capable of winning its third B1G West crown in four years. Somewhat quietly, though, Iowa’s third-ranked defense is off to an impressive start. And that’s without preseason All-American defensive end A.J. Epenesa wreaking all sorts of havoc yet (constant double teams have a lot to do with that).

Epenesa and Co. could lead the charge to what would be a monumental victory for Iowa. Even though the storylines would be all about Michigan’s collapse, we’d be talking about an Iowa team that already beat a pair of ranked foes on the road and would plenty worthy of a top 10 ranking. Ferentz hasn’t beat multiple ranked teams on the road in the same season since 2015. That was also the last time Iowa beat a ranked B1G team on the road at all.

Most importantly, that was the last time Iowa won the division. With a win on Saturday, the “it’s starting to feel like one of those years for Iowa” storyline would be appropriate.

That, obviously, is no guarantee. There’s a reason this trend hasn’t exactly favored Ferentz since he’s been at Iowa. Chalk it up to not having the same type of athletes that those B1G East contenders usually recruit or whatever. That won’t be an excuse for Iowa on Saturday.

Iowa has a 60-minute window to do what it hasn’t done in a hot minute.