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Something Worth Noting About The Big Ten and Iowa's Schedule

Take a look at the most recent Power Poll from Rittenberg:

  • 1. Iowa
  • 2. Penn State
  • 3. Ohio State
  • 4. Michigan State
  • 5. Wisconsin
  • 6. Michigan
  • 7. Minnesota
  • 8. Northwestern
  • Tied-9. Purdue
  • Tied-9. Indiana
  • 11. Illinois

By that measure (and, given the standings, it's hard to disagree with any of that), Iowa's BXI road teams are the top four possible opponents in the Big Ten this season. Then, if Purdue were in 10th place instead of tied for ninth--essentially a token promotion to mark their upset over jOSU--Iowa faces the next four toughest teams at home, and misses the worst two.

Say what you will about the strength of the Big Ten; it's not great this year. But Iowa's getting absolutely zero favors from their schedule: they're facing as many as ten teams in bowl contention (sorry, A-State and UNI), they get the toughest possible road matchups, and they're still undefeated thus far.

We're still wary, mind you; things fall apart, and tend to shatter when it comes to unheralded college football teams making a run at the big boys. But no matter what happens this season, nobody can say Iowa lucked out of any opponents; they're going to have to earn whatever they end up with. Sort of feels better that way, especially with how 2002 ended up.