With two days left before kickoff, college football prognosticators have begun sizing up this year’s edition of Iowa’s Big Game.
The result of Saturday’s clash in Ames — like any year — is anyone’s guess. Here are a few who think they’ve got this year’s winner pegged.
- ESPN’s Big Ten Conference bloggers were split, with Adam Rittenberg picking the Hawkeyes 19-17 and Brian Bennett going with the Cyclones by a 16-13 score.
Do I have to pick a winner here? Iowa took a step back last week in many ways, although the power run stepped up when the team needed a lift. This will be a sloppy game on both sides, but Mark Weisman and Damon Bullock, along with the offensive line, prove to be the difference in the fourth quarter.
Bennett has an overtime game in mind:
Kirk Ferentz really needs this game. Then again, so does Paul Rhoads after losing to Northern Iowa in the opener. I don’t expect many fireworks, either, but the Cyclones are just a little more desperate and have the momentum in this series. They win it on an overtime field goal.
With a clutch fourth quarter, Sam Richardson offers more proof he’s not just the next flash-in-the-pan Iowa State quarterback, while Luke Knott has a big day in his first career start at linebacker as the Cyclones edge out Iowa with a late field goal to capture their third straight win in the series.
- At the Big Ten Network’s website, three football analysts and a basketball-focused anchor predict each of the conference’s games. They didn’t agree much, with two apiece picking each team. Tom Dienhart has the Cyclones winning 24-23, as does Stephen Bardo — 21-17. Meanwhile, Brent Yarina gives the Hawkeyes the edge 23-19, while Sean Merriman predicts a similar 24-20 Iowa victory.
- WhatifSports.com did 10,001 simulations to determine it has 51.5 percent confidence in Iowa winning and has the Hawkeyes No. 59 in this week’s confidence power rankings.
- Three members of the Kansas City Star staff like Iowa State to win, and two predict the Hawkeyes will move to 2-1.
- And finally, Andrew Coppens of Bleacher Report likes the Cyclones to take advantage of their home-field advantage and take a 33-26 victory.
So, if you’re counting at home, this survey gives the Cyclones a slim 8-6 advantage come Saturday. Thanks for clearing it up, nation! For what it’s worth, Vegas has pinned the Hawkeyes as a 2.5-point favorite, with an over-under combined score between 47 and 49 (not a very optimistic line for the offenses). We’ll have to wait until after 5 p.m. Saturday (TV: Fox Sports 1) to gain a clear answer.
Meanwhile, pick your winner here:
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football