College Football Pick’em
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The Iowa vs. Iowa State game is one of the rivalries that makes college football what it is. College football isn’t about content production, ad revenues and landmark television deals; college football is about the mutual hatred that one group of people has for another group with only a thin veneer of respect beneath it. It’s about smiling at your neighbor when you see them at the grocery store on Monday and cursing their name when you see them that one Saturday in the fall.
The rivalry between Iowa and Iowa State might not be the biggest nationally, but it’s nevertheless one of the fiercest rivalries we have. Suppose we judge rivalries by the angry emails and direct messages I receive, or how many people argue with one another about trivial things in my Twitter mentions. In that case, the Cy-Hawk Trophy is up there with the Iron Bowl and The Game.
It’s also been a bit one-sided lately. While coach Matt Campbell has done an excellent job building the Cyclones into one of the stronger teams in the Big 12, he’s yet to break through against the hated Hawkeyes. Iowa has won six straight in the series, including five straight against Campbell.
Iowa won a game without scoring a TD in Week 1: If you didn’t see Iowa’s 7-3 win over South Dakota State last week, you could consider yourself lucky, or you may regret the decision. It probably depends on how you feel about horror films. You see, while the final score says 7-3, it’s quite misleading. Iowa reached seven points with a field goal and two safeties. It was one of the ugliest offensive displays in recent memory and only the 15th time in the College Football Playoff era (since 2014) that an FBS team won a game without scoring a touchdown (it happened twice last year). It’s also the first time a team won without a touchdown while also scoring fewer than 10 points since San Diego State’s 6-0 win over Weber State in 2019. And if that’s not enough for you, Iowa was the first FBS team to win a game with fewer than 175 yards of offense (166) since Iowa did the same thing last season against, yep, Iowa State!
Iowa State’s offense looks impressive: There were plenty of questions about Iowa State’s offense heading into the 2022 season, as it had to replace longtime stalwarts in quarterback Brock Purdy, running back Breece Hall and tight end Charlie Kolar. Well, things looked pretty good last week. New QB Hunter Dekkers completed 25 of his 31 passes for 293 yards and four touchdowns, RB Jirehl Brock rushed for 104 yards and a score and Xavier Hutchinson caught eight passes for 128 yards and three touchdowns. Sure, it was against Southeast Missouri State, but balling out against a lesser team sure beats the alternative, doesn’t it?
We might not have many of these Cy-Hawk games left: If it isn’t already clear that this is one of my favorite rivalries in the sport, it is, and I better cherish it while I know I still can. When asked about the future of the series on his radio show this week, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said, “all bets are off on anything.” The contract for the series only runs through the 2025 season, and according to Ferentz, “we’re probably safe for the next two years, but after that, who knows where college football is going?” I hope it continues to go to Ames, Iowa, and Iowa City for this annual showdown.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 10 | Time: 4 p.m. ET
Location: Kinnick Stadium — Iowa City, Iowa
TV: Big Ten Network | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
It feels somewhat sacrilegious to go this way in this rivalry game, but the total looks a little low and is likely an overreaction to what we saw from the Hawkeyes last week. Yes, the offense was awful and QB Spencer Petras did not play well. It’s also possible Iowa didn’t want to put anything on tape for Iowa State to see and nearly got caught with its pants down because of it. While we’re not likely to see a shootout here, I don’t think asking these teams to get to 41 points is too much to ask. Prediction: Over 40.5
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 2, and which favorites will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,500 in profit over the past six-plus seasons — and find out.
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