**Updated since Ohio State game**
If you want to watch a GUARANTEED close football game, or at least one that will be enjoyable, the Iowa Hawkeyes are your team. In the last 37 games, Iowa has played 17 games that were decided by 7 points or less (almost 50% of Iowa games). This includes last second wins involving a field goal to ruin #3 Penn State's national title hopes, consecutive blocked field goals against UNI, and a Marvin McNutt touchdown reception as time expired against Michigan St. Iowa is 7-10 in these games. That leads us to why Iowa fans drink so much because...
Iowa has not lost a game by more than 7 points since losing to Western Michigan by 9 points in the 2007 season finale. That Iowa team went 6-6 and didn't make it to a bowl. Since then, Iowa has gone 27-10, and has made Hawkeye fans all over the world wonder 'what if', having not lost a game decisively in that stretch. The field goals, touchdowns, and blocked kicks as time expires are what make us love the Hawkeyes, but failed drives to win or tie the game (9 out of the 10 losses) are what kill us (the one game without a chance to win? Illinois 2008; Illini kicked a field goal with less than 30 seconds to go).
Losing 10 games in a 3 season stretch is impressive enough, but Iowa makes it's case for being one of the toughest teams to beat by averaging it's losses by less than 4 points. 5 of those 10 losses were decided by 3 points or less and Iowa has only lost by more than 3 points four times in the 37 game stretch; twice by 7 points, once by 5, and another by 4, and have lost by 1 point TWICE; Pitt in 2008 and Wisconsin in 2010. Against ranked teams, Iowa is 5-4 since 2008, winning by an average of 15 points, and losing by an average of less than 4.
Another interesting fact: Iowa hasn't lost a game by more than 20 points in the last 42 games (Purdue, Oct. 20, 2007; 31-6), and hasn't lost by more than 30 points in the last 85 games (Arizona State, Sept. 18, 2004; 44-..... well, you remember).
So, yeah, we are 7-4 right now and keep losing heart-breakers, but remember: it's in your blood. Being an Iowa Hawkeye fan is probably the hardest job to have when it comes to being a college football fan. I mean, come on, every team in the Big Ten has lost at least one game by more than 7 points THIS SEASON. Iowa hasn't lost one by more than 7 in 3 seasons, and I think everyone can agree that losing by less hurts more. Hang in there Hawkeye fans.. hang in there.
*One last impressive Big Ten stat*
Wisconsin (10-1): Lost one game by 10 points
Ohio State (10-1): Lost one game by 13 points
Michigan St. (10-1): Lost one game by 31 points
Iowa (7-4): Lost four games by total of 15 points
Those top 3 in the Big Ten average each of their losses at 18 points, while Iowa has been beat 4 times by 15. That is extremely impressive/depressing.
Is it more exciting, or heartbreaking to be a Hawkeye fan?
Exciting (5 wins by less than 3 points; 3 dramatic wins within last 5 seconds (Penn St. 2008, Northern Iowa 2009, Michigan St. 2009) (8 votes)
Heartbreaking (10 losses by less than 7 points; 2 losses by 1 point; 3 losses to jNW; 9 losses on final drive for chance to win or tie game (Northwestern '08/'09/'10, Pitt '08, Michigan State '08, Ohio State '09/'10, Arizona '10, Wisconsin '10) (49 votes)
Both (How can you choose one??) (78 votes)
135 total votes