james_morris

Predicting the 2013 Iowa football schedule

If you've been following along here at TheB1GTime all summer long, I've been hinting at my thoughts about two teams being far worse than people think and today it's one of those teams in specific as I look at the Iowa Hawkeyes. 

Some people have the Hawkeyes as a team that can make a rebound in 2013, given all the injuries and crazy moments that led to the 4-8 season Kirk Ferentz's bunch had last year. However, I personally don't see it and it's got little to do with the players on the 2013 Iowa team, but rather the schedule they must face. 

It's one of the toughest non-conference slates and inside the conference things get a lot harder than in 2012 with the additions of Ohio State and Wisconsin as cross-divisional foes. So, that being said, let's explore how I see this schedule breaking down, shall we? 

Date   Opponent Time/TV
Saturday

Aug. 31
Huskies Northern Illinois Huskies 

Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA
2:30 p.m. CT

BTN/BTN2Go
Saturday

Sept. 7
Bears Missouri State Bears 

Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA
11:00 a.m. CT

BTN/BTN2Go
Saturday

Sept. 14
Cyclones at Iowa State Cyclones 

Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, IA
5:00 p.m. CT

FS1
Saturday

Sept. 21
Broncos Western Michigan Broncos 

Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA
TBA
Saturday

Sept. 28
Gophers at Minnesota Golden Gophers 

TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
2:30 p.m. CT

ABC
Saturday

Oct. 5
Spartans Michigan State Spartans (HC)

Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA
11:00 a.m. CT

TV TBA
Saturday

Oct. 12
Open Date
Saturday

Oct. 19
Buckeyes at Ohio State Buckeyes 

Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH
2:30 p.m. CT

ABC/ESPN/2 TBA
Saturday

Oct. 26
Wildcats Northwestern Wildcats 

Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA
TBA
Saturday

Nov. 2
Badgers Wisconsin Badgers 

Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA
TBA
Saturday

Nov. 9
Boilermakers at Purdue Boilermakers 

Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, IN
TBA
Saturday

Nov. 16
Open Date
Saturday

Nov. 23
Wolverines Michigan Wolverines 

Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA
TBA
Friday

Nov. 29
Cornhuskers at Nebraska Cornhuskers 

Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE
11:00 a.m. CT

ABC
Saturday

Dec. 7
Big Ten Big Ten Championship Game

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
7:00 p.m. CT

FOX

Schedule Predictions:

Aug. 31 – vs. Northern Illinois: LOSS
Sorry to say this isn't going to be a repeat of last season at all. Sure, NIU is going to have a new head coach, but they are also going to have a Heisman Trophy contender, Jordan Lynch, behind center. The Huskies went to the Orange Bowl to end the season after running the table following this loss. You can bet they aren't going to forget what went down last season. Expect major revenge for a team that is better from top to bottom than the Hawkeyes as we sit here just over a week away from the start of the season.

Sept. 7 – vs. Missouri State: WIN
Really, count this as the annual lamb to slaughter game to fill up a home date. Missouri State ended last season 3-8 overall. They lost to Kansas State and Louisville by a combined 86-16 last year. Point is, this team isn't very good for FCS – they are no Northern Iowa that's for sure. Expect this to be a big time blowout. If it isn't… OH OH.

Sept. 14 – at Iowa State: LOSS 
The Cyclones have the better talent on the roster, a confident and beloved coach and will be playing in front of a rabid crowd (ISU sold out season tickets for the 1st time in school history this offseason – 44,000). That's not a good sign at all for a Hawkeyes team that struggles with teams that have speed and can play in space. Add in a better QB for the Cyclones and a deep running back group and this could be ugly for the Big Ten team in this in-state rivalry. 

Sept. 21 – vs. Western Michigan: WIN
Western Michigan will be well seasoned against Big Ten foes by the time this game rolls around, as this will be their third game against a foe from the conference after taking on Michigan State and Northwestern before this one. While that means they likely won't be intimidated, they also aren't very good either. If Iowa can't win this game kiss any hope for a bowl game goodbye FOR SURE.

Sept. 28 – at Minnesota: LOSS
Iowa holds Floyd of Rosedale – leaving the Gophers without a trophy for their trophy case (all three rivalry trophies belong to their rivals at the moment). However, this game is on the road and Minnesota actually went to a bowl game last season. If you know anything about Jerry Kill coached teams it should be this… They get better, as in vastly better, in year three of his program and guess what 2013 is for the Gophers? Yep, year three. If that trend continues here you're looking at a winning team and a team that should take care of business at home in just about ever game it plays. I just don't like the matchups in this one either as Minnesota's defense is vastly underrated around the conference fanbases. Sorry, Iowa… Floyd is going back north this season. Hey, there's always the Heartland Trophy, right?

Oct. 5 – vs. Michigan State: LOSS
This could be the battle of who's offense stinks less. Unfortunately for Iowa and whomever actually is QB by this point in time, they're running into a defense that eats QB's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While this is at home, I just don't see a way the Hawkeyes out-defense MSU. It's just that plain and simple.

Oct. 19 – at Ohio State: LOSS
Ummmm… hide your women and children? I don't know what else to say about this matchup than that. OSU's offense should be humming and following back-to-back games against Wisconsin and Northwestern you can damn well bet this team will be in prime form. Give me Braxton Miller vs. any defensive player on the 2013 Iowa roster. This one isn't going to be pretty and that means the O for the Big Ten streak continues. Can you say pressure mounting?

Oct. 26 – vs. Northwestern: LOSS
Are you starting to see a pattern here… This is a brutal Big Ten slate and this is the heart of the worst of it all. If Iowa wants to right the ship after an 0-3 start in conference play, it has to come in this game. If it doesn't there's simply no mathematical way for them to get to a bowl game. That may be a bit dramatic, but it's true. The bad news is that this could be the best Northwestern team we've seen in over 70 years. No way they contain Colter and Mark, even at home. To say the folks inside Kinnick are getting restless is perhaps an understatement of epic proportions.

Nov. 2 – vs. Wisconsin: LOSS
About that brutal stretch we were talking about… These two long-time and bitter rivals renew a game that hasn't been played since the divisions format came out. Luckily for Gary Andersen he's got Barry Alvarez to help guide him through what a game in Kinnick can be like for a visiting team. However, that locker room and atmosphere can only take you so far and the problem is Wisconsin is loaded on both sides of the ball and has a TON of veteran experience. Add in a team that will likely be in full stride and you've got a recipe for the Heartland Trophy staying on the UW sideline. Expect this game to be a bit closer than some thin, but Melvin Gordon really ticks off the fans of the school he snubbed for UW with a big game winner in the 4th quarter.

Nov. 9 – at Purdue: LOSS
This is the one game that Iowa has the best chance at…. Too bad it's not at home, because I'd put this as a W. Sure, Iowa has the better defense, but the more dynamic players (as it stands here in August) are on the Boilers offensive side of the ball. I'll take the veteran QB over one still in his first season as a starter any day of the week and that's what Rob Henry brings  to the Boilers side of the equation. So, make it an 0-6 start to the Big Ten season for my picks.

Nov. 23 – vs. Michigan: LOSS
If Iowa wants a prayer to end it's now six game losing streak they better hope that Michigan comes into Kinnick looking ahead to Ohio State the next week with a division title on the line. However, under Brady Hoke that's highly unlikely to say the least. Putting faith in a W over the Wolverines is a bit too much for me. Sorry, Hawkeye faithful 

Nov. 30 vs. Nebraska: LOSS
This game just hasn't become the rivalry the Big Ten and the two athletic departments hoped for. The Heroes Game, as this is dubbed, hasn't gotten any juice so far and both fan bases would much rather play other teams on this date anyway. Expect Nebraska to have to win this game to keep pace in the Legends division race and they'll be much more focused, plus much more talented. Give me T-Magic to stomp on the Hawkeyes to put an end to a miserable season for Iowa and Kirk Ferentz. 

Overall Record: 2-10
B1G Record: 0-8
Final Analysis: Iowa's B1G schedule doesn't offer them a lot of chances to get momentum going, so they have to circle the Minnesota game as a MUST WIN if they want to avoid a bad fate. Last week I made "Five Bold Predictions" over at Crystal Ball Run and I hinted at the possibility of this happening and that leading to Kirk Ferentz getting canned. Expect that to happen after losing more games than last year's "unacceptable season." 

Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college football for nearly half a decade. He is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadgers.com and associate editor of Bloguin's World Cup site, 32flags.com

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