The Big Ten is undeniably one of the top conferences in college football. Not only are there a few powerhouses within the conference, but it also has potential dark horses like Iowa.
Iowa enters this upcoming season with an experienced quarterback in Nathan Stanley and strong defense led by top prospect A.J. Epenesa.
Head coach Kirk Ferentz has turned the Hawkeyes into a consistent winner in recent years. While another successful season could be on the horizon, it’s possible that his squad succumbs to the pressure of playing such a difficult conference schedule.
The best case scenario for Iowa is another 8-4 record in the regular season, meanwhile the worst case scenario could result in the program suffering six losses.
Worst-case scenario: (6-6, 3-6) — There’s a chance Iowa could be 4-0 exiting September and we still won’t know if this team is Big Ten title caliber yet. The Week 3 tilt at Iowa State is extremely tough, but will be one of those black-and-blue games that comes down to the fourth quarter. Unlike the past few seasons, Iowa’s league slate does no favors and the Hawkeyes will play Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Iowa’s season will most likely depend on how it handles back-to-back matchups against Michigan and Penn State.
We’ll see if the Hawkeyes can open the season on the right note when they host the Miami Redhawks on August 31.