The 2015 college football season must be creeping closer, ever closer because the folks at 5Dimes Casino and Sportsbook have released their college football season win total prop bets for most FBs teams. These totals are for the 12-game regular season ONLY -- no conference championship, bowl game, or College Football Playoff wins are considered here.
Our fair Hawkeyes enter the season with a win total of... 7.5 wins? Huh. That comes as a bit of a surprise, frankly, given that Iowa went 7-5 in the regular season last year and lost some significant pieces on offense and defense. That might say more about what the 5Dimes folks think about the teams on Iowa's schedule than it does the Hawkeyes.
In fact, let's take a look at the win totals for the rest of the Big Ten:
Hmm. Iowa draws Illinois (3.5), Purdue (4.0), Maryland (4.5), Minnesota (5.5), Indiana (6.0), Northwestern (6.5), Nebraska (8.0), and Wisconsin (10.0) on their 2015 slate. That hits all of the Big Ten's expected strugglers but Rutgers and avoids Michigan State and Ohio State from the conference's upper crust. It is, yet again, a favorable conference schedule for Iowa -- whether they can do better than last year's 4-4 record against that same slate remains to be seen.
And as for Iowa's non-conference opponents...
There's no win total for Illinois State since they're an FCS team, but they are expected to be one of the top teams in FCS; you can probably make a fairly credible argument that they're the second-best team Iowa will see in the non-conference slate. 5Dimes tabs Iowa State and North Texas for meager win totals, but Iowa fans have reason to be wary of those opponents: ISU has been a long time bugaboo for Ferentz-led Iowa teams and North Texas is led by Dan McCarney, a man who knows a thing or three about motivating an overmatched opponent to beat Iowa. Pitt is Iowa's remaining non-conference opponent; they're breaking in a new coach (former Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi), but have several of the pieces back from the team that had Iowa on the ropes before Iowa's Beathard-fueled comeback.
This Iowa team remains a mystery to me, given the question marks that exist at nearly every position. If Iowa is able to come up with positive answers to those question marks, they certainly could take advantage of a schedule that doesn't contain too many obvious pitfalls on paper. But if those question marks linger into the season or the answers are inadequate, well, I think we know what we'll be getting.
What do you think of Iowa's win total? What about the other win totals in the Big Ten? (You can find win totals for other FBS teams here, too.)