Other teams that interest Iowa football fans
The Badgers, Iowa football’s next opponent, find their resume ranked 17th. The win over Michigan early in the season helps contribute to the 20 combined victories their wins have earned this season. The bad loss to Illinois almost certainly dropped Wisconsin out of contention.
Honestly, Iowa football had a much worse looking resume last week. It wasn’t the win over Northwestern that helped, though a loss would have hurt. It was actually the wins from Miami (OH), Middle Tennessee, and Rutgers that helped give the Hawkeyes 14 combined wins from the teams that we’ve beaten. Still, you would have to go down to the 28th ranked team to find someone that has fewer than the Iowa football team’s 14 combined wins from the teams they’ve beaten.
I include Georgia on the “other teams of interest” not because Iowa football fans care about the Bulldogs, but because of how low they appear on this list. Georgia’s best win – Notre Dame – looks a lot less impressive after Michigan shellacked them on national television. Georgia, according to my ranking system, is 11 spots above what they’ve earned on the field. This represents the largest difference between AP rankings and this system.
Speaking of Notre Dame, they represent the second-largest disparity between the quality of their resume and their AP ranking. The Fighting Irish have one fewer road win and one fewer Power 5 win than Iowa has. Their best win, over 3-loss USC, looks very similar to Iowa’s road win over 3-loss Iowa State.
Indiana is the team closest to Iowa that actually has defeated teams with fewer combined wins. Part of that is their win over Eastern Illinois, an FCS team. Indiana has games against Michigan and Penn State left on the schedule, so there is room to rise.
Cyclone fans continuously remind fans of Iowa football that our best win was in Ames. That is still true. Thanks for making that win thoroughly unimpressive after your Heisman candidate quarterback threw the game-winning touchdown to the wrong team. Still, Iowa State holds on to the 37th ranked resume. Congratulations Cyclone fans.
After Illinois shocked the college football world with a win over the Badgers, the Illini surged. They followed that up with a road win at Purdue, which put them in the top half of college football teams this season. Illinois lost to Eastern Michigan, which is a truly terrible loss. However, the resurgence of their performance and their current resume ranking makes them an excellent rivalry candidate for the team right below them.
Let Nebraska be a warning to those that believe 9 wins are not good enough. While Iowa is still in contention for the Big Ten West, Nebraska is going to struggle to gain bowl eligibility. I strongly doubt that any Cornhusker fan expected the 60th best resume in the country. Maybe next year, Nebraska.