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IOWA FOOTBALL WINS BY AVOIDING CHAOS WEEK

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Saturday, bloody Saturday.

Joe Murphy

So college football yesterday was nuts.  Completely and utterly insane.  It lost its goddamn mind.

Four of the top ten teams lost yesterday (and a fifth team, Oregon, lost in the wee hours on Thursday night) and two others (Notre Dame, Michigan State) had very nervy finishes.  Six other teams in the top 25 also lost yesterday; in all, nearly 50% (11/25) of the Top 25 went down in flames yesterday.  Nor was the #CHAOS confined to ranked teams; Washington State lost an utterly bananas game to Cal, 60-59, when their kicker missed a 19-yard chip shot field goal at the end of the game... despite their quarterback, Conner Halliday, throwing for an FBS record 734 yards and 7 TD.  (SEVEN HUNDRED AND THIRTY FOUR PASSING YARDS!)  Michigan lost to Rutgers in controversial fashion although at this point that may not be much of an upset (Rutgers was the Vegas favorite before kickoff).  Hell, even teams who are experts at losing managed to find ways to win yesterday.  Like I said: #CHAOS.

Of course, who knows?  Maybe Iowa would have been on the right side of #CHAOS yesterday if they had played a game and they would have emerged from the fray with another win.  Yesterday was full of trade-offs after all -- for all the favored or highly-ranked teams whose seasons were damaged by losses yesterday, the underdog or lower-ranked teams that beat them got a significant boost for their own seasons.  Based on the voodoo going around, yesterday would have been a good day for Iowa to play Wisconsin or Nebraska -- teams who are at least nominal favorites over Iowa (although at this point the only thing Wisconsin appears to have over Iowa is inertia and Melvin Gordon).  It probably would have been a really bad day for Iowa to play Indiana or Northwestern -- teams who are at least nominal underdogs to Iowa (and who give Iowa fits even on non-#CHAOS-y days).

So yeah, Iowa probably did manage to win this week just by not playing and avoiding the risk of a crazy, brain-scrambling loss.  Good job, assistant coach WOPR.