A week ago, the Iowa Hawkeyes were facing a big time road trip to face an undefeated Maryland team that boasted a talented offense and athleticism across the board. While many fans were feeling confident in the defense, there were still many questions about Iowa’s ability to put points on the board with their offense. Hawkeye fans remained skeptical right up until Iowa began to pull away from the Terps last Friday night.
After Iowa’s 51-point explosion in College Park, we circled back with Hawkeye fans this week and asked them whether or not that big time road win over Maryland made them feel any better about the offense heading into an historic showdown against the Penn State Nittany Lions in week six.
The results were a resounding yes as nearly 90% of respondents came away from last week’s matchup feeling better about the Iowa offense.
Not only are Hawkeye fans feeling better about the offense, but they’re feeling pretty confident in the Hawkeyes overall.
Much (digital) ink has been spilt this week breaking down this incredible matchup between a pair of top-5 teams in the nation (and the first such matchup in the Big Ten to not feature either Michigan or Ohio State since 1962), but Hawkeye fans are officially in on this team.
In fact, a resounding 86% of respondents are on Iowa to pull out the win, extending Penn State’s winless streak against top-5 teams on the road to 27 years.
Not only are Iowa fans feeling good about a win this weekend, they’re feeling pretty good about this Hawkeye team’s chances to get back to Indianapolis. In perhaps the biggest surprise of all, more Iowa fans are now expecting Iowa to win the Big Ten West than are even picking them to win this weekend in Kinnick.
An astonishing 97% of Hawkeyes fans polled expect Iowa to emerge as the victors in the West for their second Big Ten Championship Game appearance in program history. While Iowa’s path appears much more clear than even 2015 given the struggles of so many other teams in the West, high expectations have typically resulted in plenty of disappointed Hawkeye fans.
And while expectations among the fanbase seem to be growing by the hour, the national expectations are nearly matching. Iowa is ranked 3rd in the country for the first time since that incredible run in 2015. This week’s matchup with #4 Penn State is historic for reasons already mentioned, but it’s also likely to be the most watched game of the week across the country as nearly three quarters of fans polled across college football are calling this the game of the week.
Saturday’s matchup is the biggest inside the friendly confines of Kinnick Stadium since the historic #1 vs. #2 showdown with Michigan back in 1985. Iowa fans seem to think this iteration will have a similar outcome with the higher rated team emerging victorious.
The entire college football fanbase seem destined to be glued to their TVs to find out.