College Football Preseason Top 25: #5 Iowa

Al Dannity | Updated Oct 04, 2017

The Hawkeyes enter 2010 with serious Big Ten and National Championship ambitions. Al Dannity says it will all come down to one game.

The schedule Iowa’s non-conference schedule is far from intimidating. The rivalry game with Iowa State isn’t going to have much of an impact nationally, and road game at Arizona is likely to have a similarly small impact on the big picture. Fortunately for fans of the Hawkeyes, Iowa’s conference slate should be enough to keep it in BCS title conversation.

Iowa opens Big Ten play at home to Penn State on October 2 and has another big home tie on October 23, when Wisconsin comes to town. The Hawkeyes will get a chance to avenge last season’s loss to Northwestern when they travel to Evanston on November 13. Then it’s the big one. Ohio State pays a visit to Kinnick Stadium on November 20 in a game that could send the winner to the BCS National Championship game.

The players Iowa returns the bulk of its dominant defense from 2009, with 8 starters back for 2010. Defensive end Adrian Clayborn will lead from the front but the two players College Football betting fans should pay most attention to are Tyler Sash and Brett Greenwood. The safeties are the unquestioned stars of the Hawkeyes’ secondary and will play crucial roles in any success enjoyed by the Hawkeyes in 2010.

All-Big Ten wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos is one of 6 returning starters on offense for Iowa. Quarterback Ricky Stanzi is also back and he will be keen to make up for his 15 interceptions last season. Keeping Stanzi and running back Adam Robinson healthy for the full season will be crucial if the Hawkeyes want to step up to the next level in 2010.

The forecast Home advantage will play a huge role in Iowa’s season. The Hawkeyes face all three of their biggest opponents in 2010 in Iowa City. That’s a huge benefit for Kirk Ferentz and it means I like this team to win at least 11 games in the regular season. Of course, it’s that one other game which will decide the Hawkeyes’ season.

In a straight up battle of talent I like Ohio State to win, even on the road. That said if you played this game 10 times, this current Hawkeyes line-up would probably win 4. It’s that close. It will still be a magnificent season for Iowa fans. I like Iowa to go 11-1 and return to the BCS in 2010.