There weren’t a significant amount of upsets, but with the Iowa football team’s win over #8 Minnesota, the Hawks will rise in Tuesday’s CFP ranking.
Anytime you beat an undefeated and top-10 ranked opponent, you can expect some love in that week’s rankings. And for an Iowa football team that is currently ranked 20th by the College Football Playoff committee and just knocked off #8 Minnesota, that is exactly the position they are in.
But after a weekend where just three teams ahead of the Iowa football program lost, how far can we expect them to rise?
The important thing to remember is there hasn’t been much rhyme or reason with the College Football Playoff Rankings thus far. I didn’t actually understand how Iowa dropped just one spot last week as did Wisconsin nor did I understand how Georgia managed to jump Alabama after Alabama lost a close game to #1 ranked LSU and Georgia fell to South Carolina team that won’t even be bowl eligible this season.
It’s also important to remember that the committee does value strength of schedule and good losses which means Penn State taking down 7-2 Indiana, Michigan stomping all over Michigan State, and Wisconsin taking care of business versus Nebraska looks good for the Iowa football team as does Iowa State’s win over #19 Texas.
With that, let’s take a look at the losses and key games that will impact the Iowa football team’s position in the rankings come Tuesday.
#4 Georgia defeats #12 Auburn 21-14
- Where the committee values Auburn in comparison to Iowa will say a lot about how they value the Big Ten versus the SEC. Auburn has losses to #1 LSU, #4 Georgia, and #11 Florida with a win over #6 Oregon. The Iowa football team has losses to #9 Penn State, #14 Wisconsin, and #15 Michigan with a win over #8 Minnesota. I think they still stick ahead of the Hawks.
#10 Oklahoma defeats #13 Baylor 34-31
- This would have been interesting if Baylor pulled off the win. Clearly, the CFP committee doesn’t trust the Bears with them being undefeated and only ranked #13. As we have seen though, the committee likes big wins better than good losses. I don’t think they fall more than two spots, but another loss will get the Iowa football team jumping over them.
#17 Cincinnati defeats South Florida 20-17
- A loss here by Cincinnati would have been good for the Iowa football team. That said, I think Iowa’s win over Minnesota is enough to pop them over the Bearcats who needed a last-second field goal to beat a middling South Florida team.
#18 Memphis defeats Houston 45-27
- Another opportunity where a loss would have helped. Memphis has played a decent schedule actually, but Navy’s blowout loss to Michigan now makes that win look a little worse, plus the committee has never exactly shown much love to non-power 5 schools. I think Iowa’s win over Memphis could help them jump the Tigers.
Iowa State defeats #19 Texas 23-21
- Our in-state rivals finally helped us out in two ways. First, they beat the team directly in front of the Hawks, and the win also makes Iowa’s win over Iowa State look good. It’s a double whammy.
So where does this leave the Iowa football team? Honestly, with the inconsistency of the committee thus far, it’s hard to tell, but big wins appear to mean the most to them.
If I had to guess, I would place the Iowa Hawkeyes at #17 in Tuesday’s poll, which sets them up nicely going forward if they can win out and get a bit of help. Florida, Auburn, Baylor, Minnesota, and Notre Dame are all teams to watch over the next few weeks. Their resumes aren’t overwhelmingly strong so another loss by these teams would create a spot for the Hawks to continue moving up.
Teams like Wisconsin, Michigan and Penn State own a tiebreaker over the Hawks after beating them this season so it’ll be a bit tougher for the Iowa football team to make a leap even with a loss from those teams.