The Iowa Hawkeyes continue their struggles last week. First it was a home loss to #7 Ohio State on Thursday night, then things really went off the rails with a road loss to unranked Indiana on Super Bowl Sunday.
The week ended with a season sweep for the Hoosiers and a two-game losing streak for the Hawkeyes. That would have been much worse if not for a less than inspiring win over Michigan State last Tuesday. That win is all that stands between the Hawkeyes and four straight losses.
It’s no surprise then that Iowa plummeted in the rankings this week. The AP released their latest poll on Monday and the Hawkeyes fell seven spots to 15th. That’s the first time all season Iowa has been outside the top-10.
- Ohio State
- Texas Tech
- West Virginia
- Florida State
- Virginia Tech
- Loyola Chicago
- Oklahoma State
A couple of observations about the rankings this week. For starters, the caliber of the Big Ten’s competition from top to bottom is again evidenced this week as the conference gets seven teams ranked in the top-25. That includes three in the top-10 and a pair of teams inside the top-5. The Big 12 is second with six teams ranked in total with two in the top-10.
For the Big Ten, Michigan again leads the way despite not playing a game since January 22nd. They move up a spot after Villanova lost this weekend. Nova, for their part, had remained in the top-5 for weeks without playing. It begs the question of whether Iowa would have just been better off to shut down the program for a few weeks here rather than continuing to play with CJ Fredrick out (note, I would never suggest they intentionally contract COVID-19 as that’s not what has happened at Michigan - they are voluntarily on a shutdown).
Beyond, Michigan, Ohio State used wins over the Hawkeyes and Michigan State last week to jump into the top-5 at #4. Illinois is just behind them at #6 after beating then #19 Wisconsin over the weekend. Wisconsin fell just two spots to #21 this week as they’ve had a run only slightly better than Iowa over the last couple weeks.
Outside the Big Ten, our friends in Des Moines saw their short-lived stay in the top-25 come to an end. After getting to 18-0 on the year, Drake finally crept in before promptly losing by 17 at a 7-12 Valpraiso on Sunday.
In the Coaches Poll, Iowa feel even further than they did in the AP. They come in at #16 there this week.
Despite the slide, Iowa continues to rank much better in advanced metrics. In KenPom, Iowa still sits at #5 overall with far and away the #1 offense in the nation. Sagarin dropped the Hawkeyes a bit further to #6.
Iowa will look to get things back on track with a pair of games this week. That starts on Wednesday with another test as #25 Rutgers comes to Iowa City. That’s a 6:30pm tip on Big Ten Network.