Coming off a loss at lowly Minnesota, Iowa looked to be lost. But really, it was just Iowa.
The Hawkeyes are consistent this year. That’s not necessarily a good thing. They’re awful on the road (0-3) and good at home (6-0). Teams playing better at home than on the road is not at all out of the ordinary. But when you lose at Minnesota then win at home against Michigan, there’s something major going on. Does the team bus have a carbon monoxide leak?
Iowa picked up a 24-16 win against the Wolverines by shutting down Denard Robinson and playing better defense than it probably has all year. The Wolverines had four plays from inside the 5-yard line as time was running out, but couldn’t punch it in (cue Michigan fans claiming Junior Hemingway did actually score on one of the plays — he pushed off, folks).
So just so we’re straight, Iowa held Michigan to less points than it did Minnesota. To be fair, I guess, Michigan State did the same thing, eking out a win against the Gophers today.
So now Iowa, which has lost to a team that is 2-7 and another that is 5-4, controls its own destiny in the Big Ten Legends Division. It has Michigan State at home next week, then plays at Purdue and at Nebraska to close out the year.
If things go as they have so far this season, that means a 1-2 finish for Iowa and a middling bowl. But with a well-balanced offense and a defense that can apparently stop people every once in a while, there’s a decent chance Iowa will be playing in Indianapolis. Yes, Iowa, the team that lost to Minnesota.