Pessimism surrounding the Iowa Hawkeyes feels to be mounting. Not to unseen heights, because we were right here a year ago, but pessimism is certainly on the rise around the fanbase.
What started as a decent enough offense to kick off the 2023 season slowly faded into a concerning display of ineptitude. Then Cade McNamara went down and over the last two weeks we’ve seen the wheels completely fall off the car that already seemed to be on fire.
The timing is miserable as the struggling Iowa offense now heads into the lion’s den to face off with the Wisconsin Badgers, who have had Brian Ferentz’s number as much as any defense in the conference over the last half decade. What’s more, today’s matchup has more implications than any other this season.
The Badgers come into the day at 4-1 overall and 2-0 in conference play. While they have a matchup with Ohio State remaining on the schedule, they would need to really slip up to lose more than two more games the rest of the way.
That’s an issue for the Hawkeyes, who enter the day at 5-1 overall and 2-1 in conference play. If they drop today’s matchup with Wisconsin, Iowa would need the Badgers to lose not one, not two, but three more Big Ten games this season to give the Hawkeyes a chance to win the West title.
On the flip side, a win from the Hawkeyes today would, despite their calamitous offense, put them in the driver’s seat in the West. Putting one in the loss column for the Badgers and a near-assured loss upcoming with Ohio State would mean Iowa would have a one game lead and the tie-breaker over Wisconsin. Which is to say the Hawkeyes would need to lose two more games this season to lose the West if they pull this one out today.
As we countdown to kickoff, here’s everything you need to know about today’s matchup.
Date: Saturday, October 14th
Time: 3:00 pm CT
Matchup: Iowa Hawkeyes (5-1, 2-1) at Wisconsin Badgers (4-1, 2-0)
Location: Camp Randall Stadium - Madison, WI
Preliminary Weather Forecast: temps in the lower-50s, 15% chance of rain
DraftKings Sportsbook Line: Wisconsin -9.5, O/U 35
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Keep an eye out for the availability report, which is set to be published around 1:00 pm CT. Recall that’s a new item in the Big Ten this season with availability reported two hours before game time.