We're Talkin' Schedules - Iowa

Continuing on with the schedule breakdowns, we head into the Bo (Legends) division.

Previously: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin

Now: Iowa

2010 Overall Record: 8-5
2010 Big Ten Record: 4-4

Non-Conference Opponents
9/3: Tennessee Tech (5-6)
9/10: @ Iowa State (5-7)
9/17: Pitt (8-5)
9/24: Louisiana-Monroe (5-7)

Divisional Opponents
10/15: Northwestern
10/29: @ Minnesota
11/5: Michigan
11/12: Michigan State
11/26: @ Nebraska

Crossover Opponents
10/8: @ Penn State
10/22: Indiana
11/12: @ Purdue

Do Not Play
Ohio State

If You Only Watch One Iowa Game in 2011 (Other than Michigan): The game against Penn State in 2009 was wildly entertaining. Last year was a blow out thanks to Iowa's sudden confidence against the Nittany Lions. This year will be a gut-check for Iowa. Penn State is improved and Iowa is in transition.

But that's not the game to watch.

The game I want to see is Michigan State on Nov 12. Sparty comes calling again to Iowa City, and will be looking to avenge the devastating and embarrassing loss from last year's 37-6 debacle. Both teams are a bit of a question mark in terms of taking that step from mid-level B1G team to upper-tier team. Michigan State looked great except for the Iowa loss last year. I will be really curious to see how well they respond in a hostile environment that clearly rattled them last year.

Non-Conference Loss: As always, Iowa State provides a non-conf challenge for the Hawkeyes. Iowa handled them well last year 35-7 at home, and I suspect they will have success on the road this year. But it could be a good game if Iowa is having a hard time adjusting to life after Ricky Stanzi. The Pitt game on Sept 17 will also be a good non-conf game to pay attention to.

It's a Trap!: Purdue on Nov 19. This game is against a Woody opponent sandwiched between 4 Bo opponents. Its on the road after two huge home games, and before a tough season-ending road trip to Lincoln. Iowa's schedule lays out pretty nicely, so this is really the only trap opportunity on their schedule.

The Game Destined for ESPN3.com: Louisiana-Monroe on Sept 24. Zzzzzzzzz.

Final Analysis: Iowa is going to have to adjust to some new faces on defense, especially the front 7 where there are some gaping holes. That said, the schedule is nice to Iowa for the first 4 weeks of the season. But roads tests at Happy Valley, Lincoln and a trap game in West Lafayette will be a challenge. The back-to-back Michigan and Michigan State home games in November are going to be interesting for many reasons as well.

Fearless Predictions
Non-conference record: 4-0
Division Record: 2-3
Crossover Record: 1-2
Overall: 7-5

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