The Iowa football team has a storied rivalry with the Iowa State Cyclones, and the 2019 contest will be one of the most anticipated games in the series.
More often than not, the Iowa football team’s non-conference schedule is mocked around the country when the Hawks are doing well. As many other schools do, the Hawks schedule at least one cupcake each year. Another non-conference game is always held for the CyHawk game, and the final non-conference is up in the air, but it usually doesn’t get filled with a top team.
Given the general state of mediocrity the Iowa State football program has perpetually been in prior to Matt Campbell’s arrival, it’s fair to poke fun at the Iowa football team’s schedule.
Not this year though. With Iowa State on the up and up, the 2019 CyHawk game might be one of the most hyped games in the history of the series, and Athlon Sports agrees. They listed the 2019 matchup as the 13th best non-conference game in the nation.
13th isn’t bad, but when looking at the games ahead of this one, I think Athlon Sports actually ranked this game lower than it should have.
Purely speaking from a talent and expectation perspective, I believe this game should have been ranked higher than these matchups:
Washington State @ Houston: Houston isn’t a power 5 school. Just no.
Arizona State @ Michigan State: Arizona State is not good.
Florida State @ Florida: Neither of these teams is ranked.
Oklahoma @ UCLA: UCLA was atrocious last year
Florida State vs Boise State: See above
If the Iowa football game vs Iowa State was ahead of these five games, it would put this non-conference battle as the 8th best in the country, and I don’t understand why it isn’t. This a battle of two ranked teams that are bitter rivals.
Also, the implications of this game are huge. Both teams should be considered dark horses for a big-time bowl, and a win against the other team will be a great sign for the College Football Playoff committee.
So again, how is this game not ranked higher?