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Iowa Football Ranked 25th in Coaches Poll, 22nd in AP Poll After Depantsing of Nebraska

Iowa’s ranked again, and boy does it feel good.

Nebraska v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images


After rattling off three straight wins, two of which were over teams in the Top 20 of the College Football Playoff Rankings, your Iowa Hawkeyes are back in the good graces of those who make all the really important decisions, such as where you should be ranked.

The Coaches Poll came out first, so let’s talk about that. Iowa is ranked 25th in the Coaches Poll, which seems fine. Most people knew that Iowa had a really good shot at breaking into the Top 25, but that if they did, they’d likely be somewhere in the 20’s. The shocker here is that Nebraska is ranked ahead of Iowa at 22nd in the country despite the fact that Iowa absolutely embarrassed them in Kinnick Stadium on Black Friday. Nebraska isn’t really a team that boasts a strong resume, while Iowa’s has gotten stronger after victories over Michigan and Nebraska - I’m curious as to why the coaches placed Nebby higher than Iowa (besides the Cornhuskers having one game on Iowa in the W/L column).

Here’s the full list of rankings for the Coaches Poll, with previous ranking in parenthesis:

1. Alabama 12-0 (1)
2. Ohio State 11-1 (2)
3. Clemson 11-1 (3)
4. Washington 11-1 (5)
5. Wisconsin 10-2 (6)
6. Michigan 10-2 (4)
7. Oklahoma 9-2 (7)
8. Penn State 10-2 (8)
9. Colorado 10-2 (9)
10. Oklahoma State 9-2 (10)
11. Southern California 9-3 (12)
12. Florida State 9-3 (14)
13. West Virginia 9-2 (17)
14. Western Michigan 12-0 (18)
15. Louisville 9-3 (11)
16. Florida 8-3 (13)
17. Stanford 9-3 (NR)
18. Virginia Tech 9-3 (NR)
19. Auburn 8-4 (16)
20. Navy 9-2 (NR)
21. Louisiana State 7-4 (NR)
22. Nebraska 9-3 (15)
23. South Florida 10-2 (NR)
24. Utah 8-4 (20)
25. Iowa 8-4 (NR)

Outside of Iowa making the Coaches Poll, can we talk about how weird it is that Iowa got jumped/is behind teams like Stanford, Virginia Tech, Navy, and South Florida? Those teams respectively beat Rice, Virginia, SMU, and Central Florida to make their way into the Top 25. Not one of those is a quality win against even a decent team, so it’s a bit puzzling.

Now, to the AP Poll! Iowa fared a bit better in this one, landing at #22 in this week’s rankings. Personally, I think that this one is a bit more accurate of a representation of the current state of college football. Nebraska dropped six spots this week, from #17 to #23, right behind the Hawkeyes. That makes a bit more sense than the Coaches Poll after what we all witnessed on Black Friday.

Here is the AP Top 25, presented the same way as the Coaches Poll.

1 Alabama 12-0 (1)
2 Ohio State 11-1 (2)
3 Clemson 11-1 (4)
4. Washington 11-1 (6)
5. Michigan 10-2 (3)
6. Wisconsin 10-2 (5)
7. Oklahoma 9-2 (7)
8. Penn State 10-2 (8)
9. Colorado 10-2 (9)
10. Southern California 9-3 (12)
11. Oklahoma State 9-2 (10)
12. Florida State 9-3 (15)
13. Western Michigan 12-0 (14)
14. West Virginia 9-2 (19)
15. Florida 8-3 (13)
16. Louisville 9-3 (11)
17. Stanford 9-3 (NR)
18. Auburn 8-4 (16)
19. Virginia Tech 9-3 (NR)
20. Navy 9-2 (NR)
21. Louisiana State 7-4 (25)
22. Iowa 8-4 (NR)
23. Nebraska 9-3 (17)
T-24. South Florida 10-2 (NR)
T-24. Pittsburgh 8-4 (NR)

Outside of Iowa, I’m not so sure how I feel about those other teams that are ranked ahead of them. LSU is a weird case at 7-4, but it’s hard to punish them based off a decision not to reschedule a football game due to a hurricane. Similar to the Coaches Poll, six new teams entered this week’s edition of the Top 25.

One interesting thing to note about both polls is where they have the top teams in the Big Ten. Both agree that Ohio State is the second best team in the country (and I’d tend to agree, despite the fact that they will not be playing in a conference championship game), but what’s fascinating is the disrespect that Penn State is getting, coming in at #8 in both polls. I know that they were trounced in Ann Arbor against Michigan and that they lost to a decent Pitt team, but I’d argue that they should probably be ranked ahead of the Wolverines. I think that if the two teams played today, Penn State would have the edge against the Wolverines. The AP and Coaches do happen to disagree on Wisconsin and Michigan, flip-flopping them at #5 and #6. That’s a pretty close argument, and that either could be correct. This year is a pretty good argument for why an 8-team playoff would work nicely.

Now, we wait for Tuesday to see if the CFP Committee feels as strongly about the Hawkeyes as these two polls.