Iowa football was gifted a Badger loss to Illinois last week, but what does it really mean? Was the Wisconsin loss good for the Hawkeyes?
Andrew wrote an article that stated that Iowa football does not have a different path than they did before. The key is still a win in Madison in November.
Andrew is absolutely correct. There is no way Iowa wins the Big Ten West with a loss in Madison. In reality, Iowa football can ill afford another loss to anyone if they want a chance at the conference title.
In fact, Ohio State is most likely going to beat Wisconsin this week in Columbus. I’ll go into a little more on that in this week’s point spread picks article.
This loss puts Wisconsin in the exact same position as Iowa – two conference losses with no margin for error.
The problem with relying solely on Ohio State to beat our rivals to the northeast is that Iowa doesn’t have the capability of recreating the Buckeyes’ success. The Buckeyes are at a completely different talent level than Iowa is.
This is not an indictment on Iowa football. But realistically speaking, the Buckeyes aren’t going to be providing a blueprint on how to beat Wisconsin.
Ohio State runs a much different system with a talent-level more closely aligned to Alabama and Clemson rather than Iowa.
Illinois, on the other hand, is a team that Iowa can more than match, talent-wise. Illinois has provided a completely repeatable ‘how to beat Wisconsin’ guide.
Now, even after two rough losses, doesn’t it feel like Iowa football can still attain the goal of winning the Big Ten West? The overall outlook looks a lot rosier than it would have if Wisconsin had won last week.
Illinois, a team far less talented than Iowa has put our biggest threat in a vulnerable position.
I understand why some think that the Wisconsin loss does not help Iowa football. After all, it does not change that Iowa still needs to beat Wisconsin in Madison.
A loss like this from a team that has dominated in every other game is a reminder not to take any games for granted. As a bonus, Iowa has tape of a team using a strategy against pesky competitor that previously looked impenetrable.
This does not change our path, but it certainly makes that path a lot clearer.