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Welcome to Big Ten football.

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Rankings. Despite a blowout win over North Texas, Iowa remained unranked by both the coaches and AP. Iowa was fifth in the "also receiving votes" section of the AP poll and seventh with the coaches.  It was the 75th consecutive polling day in which the Hawkeyes were unranked.  The next step is simple: Beat Wisconsin (19th in AP, 18th in Coaches) and get ranked.  Absent that, voters aren't going to buy New Ferentz just yet.

Welcome to the B1G Stage. And so Iowa opens Big Ten play at Wisconsin this Saturday, undefeated for the first time since 2009 and an 8.5-point underdog to make it 5-0.  Of equal importance, Iowa is relatively healthy.  Left tackle Boone Myers missed much of the game Saturday with a stinger, but is likely to play at Camp Randall.  There are a few dings in the secondary, but not enough to miss a game of this magnitude.  And the only two long-term injuries in the starting lineup, defensive end Drew Ott and running back LeShun Daniels, both played against North Texas and should be fine.

Seeing Other People. From the past opponent file: Illinois State is 2-1 and ranked 4th in FCS following wins over Morgan State and Eastern Illinois.  The Redbirds had the week off.  Iowa State is 1-2 and wants to fire everyone, but Kansas comes to Ames this weekend to make everything all better.  Pitt had the weekend off, too.

Breakfast Anytime. Motivation and leadership are clearly two of the reasons why Iowa has gotten off to such a hot start, but is that hot start due to an early wake-up call?  Players are pointing to Iowa's shift to morning practices as beneficial.

Potentially more important is a change in the NCAA-mandated day off from Monday to Thursday. Iowa now practices Sunday through Wednesday, takes Thursday off, then does a Friday walk-through.  And that's leaving the Hawkeyes with fresh legs on Saturday.

"It makes some sense,'' linebacker Cole Fisher said. "We still get the work in we need to get in, but we're doing it earlier in the week, and then we get a break to rest up. Football's a physical game and any chance you have to get a bit of a break and rest your body, it's a good thing.''


[Jordan Canzeri] also believes it is helping the Hawkeyes play faster and stronger on Saturdays.

"It's maybe giving us a bit of an edge against guys who have been going all week,'' Canzeri said. "A lot of teams take Sunday or Monday off. There was some pretty good thought and research put into this and I know my body has felt fresher coming into games so far this season. I think being able to relax on Thursday is probably one of the reasons why.''

According to Batterson, Iowa is the only program in the country that doesn't have its day off on Sunday or Monday.  So much for Iowa refusing to try something new.


Beathard's completion chart against North Texas was TOTAL GREG DAVIS.

No change in the bowl projections: It's Iowa to San Francisco for a de facto road game against Stanford.

From the file of stuff that I was going to put in INP weeks ago and kept forgetting: Former Hawkeye Carl Davis, now playing as a 3-4 defensive end for the Baltimore Ravens,is off to an excellent start.

In case you missed it: Minnesota tried to ice Ohio's kicker on a game-tying field goal attempt, failed, and then benefited from one of the dumbest calls ever. Apparently one can delay a game while the other team is doing something to actually delay the game.