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Iowa Football: Hawkeyes Move up in AP, Coaches Poll After Historic Win over Penn State

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The Hawkeyes have their highest ranking in the AP poll since 1985.

Penn State v Iowa
It’s a great day to be a Hawkeye.
Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

The Iowa Hawkeyes hosted the Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday afternoon in an historic matchup. For the first time in more than three decades, a pair of top-5 teams squared off in Kinnick Stadium.

Much like the last occurrence, where #1 Iowa took down #2 Michigan, the Hawkeyes won in dramatic fashion as #3 Iowa downed #4 Penn State 23-20. It was Iowa’s fifth win over a top-5 opponent in its last six matchups inside Kinnick and Iowa’s second win over a top-10 team this season (and third over an AP top-20 team).

The win, coupled with previous #1 Alabama’s loss at Texas A&M on Saturday night launched Iowa to 2nd in the latest polls on Sunday afternoon.

The #2 ranking in the AP marks the highest Iowa has achieved since that historic 1985 season. Iowa has been in the top-2 nationally just four times before this season with three of those peaking out at #1 in the AP. Only the 1961 season, in which Iowa entered the year ranked #1, saw the Hawkeyes finish outside the top-10 in the nation. Iowa won the national championship in 1958 when they finished 2nd in the AP.

Here’s a look at the full AP poll for this week.

11) Georgia, 6-0 (62 first place votes)
2) Iowa, 6-0
3) Cincinnati, 5-0
4) Oklahoma, 6-0
5) Alabama, 5-1
6) Ohio State, 5-1
7) Penn State, 5-1
8) Michigan, 6-0
9) Oregon, 4-1
10) Michigan State, 6-0
11) Kentucky, 6-0
12) Oklahoma State, 5-0
13) Ole Miss, 4-1
14) Notre Dame, 5-1
15) Coastal Carolina, 6-0
16) Wake Forest, 6-0
17) Arkansas, 4-2
18) Arizona State, 5-1
19) BYU, 5-1
20) Florida, 4-2
21) Texas A&M, 4-1
22) NC State, 4-1
23) SMU, 6-0
24) San Diego State, 5-0
25) Texas, 4-2

Others Receiving Votes (Big Ten-only): NA

Dropped Out: #18 Auburn

Over in the Coaches Poll, the Hawkeyes have also climbed up to second in the nation. There continues to be some questionable things happening here but Iowa fans will pay that no mind.

1) Georgia, 6-0 (64 first place votes)
2) Iowa, 6-0 (1)
3) Oklahoma, 6-0
4) Cincinnati, 5-0
5) Alabama, 5-1
6) Ohio State, 5-1
7) Michigan, 6-0
8) Penn State, 5-1
9) Michigan State, 6-0
10) Oregon, 4-1
11) Kentucky, 6-0
12) Oklahoma State, 5-0
13) Notre Dame, 5-1
14) Ole Miss, 4-1
15) Coastal Carolina, 6-0
16) Wake Forest, 6-0
17) Florida, 4-2
18) Texas A&M, 4-2
19) Arkansas, 4-2
20) BYU, 5-1
21) NC State, 4-1
22) Arizona State, 5-1
23) SMU, 6-0
24) San Diego State, 5-0
25) Clemson, 3-2

Others Receiving Votes (Big Ten-only): NA

Dropped Out: #19 Auburn, #23 Texas

The SEC leads all conferences with seven teams ranked inside the AP top-25, but it’s the Big Ten that has stolen the show atop the rankings. Despite Georgia supplanting Alabama at #1, the Big Ten now boasts fully half the the top-10 teams in the nation. Iowa leads the way at #2 with a logjam of Big Ten teams in the back half of the top-10.

For their loss on Saturday, Penn State falls only three spots in the rankings. Ohio State, which had briefly fallen out of the top-1 after their loss to Oregon (and a pair of wins over Akron and Tulsa), is back up to 6th - the highest of any Big Ten East team. Michigan’s win over Nebraska moves them up one spot to #8. That’s two spots ahead of Michigan State, which enters the top-10 after taking down Rutgers this weekend.

Iowa is the only team in the Big Ten West to garner votes. The Hawkeyes have a 1.5 game lead over Minnesota and Purdue in the divisional standings. All other West teams have lost at least two games this season and four of the division’s members have losing records on the year.

The Hawkeyes are set to continue their quest for a Big Ten West title as they take on the aforementioned Purdue Boilermakers in week seven. That’s set for a 2:30pm CT kick. The game will be broadcast on ABC.