Thanks to the vagaries of Big Ten scheduling, shifting divisions, and conference realignment, Iowa is making their first trip to Madison in six years. It seems impossible that Iowa could go that long in-between visits to a border rival that they've played almost 100 times... but they managed to go 6 years between playing Illinois anywhere until last year. It's a strange new era we live in. But Iowa's finally going to return to Madtown today -- a place where they've enjoyed a surprising amount of success over the last decade or so. In fact, Iowa's won three of their last four visits to Camp Randall (2003, 2005, 2009) and the lone loss was close (2007).
Of course, Wisconsin has dominated the series of late -- they've won three in a row in the series, all in Kinnick Stadium. Home hasn't been very hospitable to the Hawkeyes against the Badgers lately; maybe a road trip will do the trick. One of those home losses, in 2010, was a watershed game for both Iowa and Wisconsin. It was one of the best-played games in the history of the series between these teams, and one of the best-played games of Kirk Ferentz's tenure at Iowa... but, of course, Iowa came up short after a fake punt that won't soon be forgotten in Madison or Iowa City. And nothing has been quite the same for either team since then. Iowa has struggled to escape mediocrity since then, posting a pair of lethargic 7-6 records and a miserable 4-8 season (as well as a pair of 8-5 seasons in 2010 and 2013). Wisconsin, meanwhile, has won 11 games three times since then, won three Big Ten championships, and appeared in three Rose Bowls.
A win over Wisconsin today wouldn't guarantee that Iowa could get on the same track of success that the Badgers have enjoyed over the last half-decade -- but it would be a good start. To be the man you have to beat the man and if Iowa wants to contend in -- and potentially win -- the Big Ten West, they're going to have to slay the Badgers at some point. Why not today?
WHO: Wisconsin Badgers (3-1, 0-0)
WHEN: 11:00 AM Central; Saturday, October 3, 2015
WHERE: Camp Randall; Madison, WI
ONLINE: via WatchESPN(TV) and Tunein Radio (audio-only)
MOBILE: via WatchESPN (iOS and Android)
RADIO: via Hawkeye Radio Network, KRUI (89.7 FM), Sirius channel 135, XM channel 195
TV COMMENTATORS: Steve Levy and Brock Huard
ODDS: Iowa +7