As expected, the Iowa football team didn’t move in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings, but there is hope for next week.
Just two teams lost in the group of teams above the Iowa football team last week and both were one-loss teams with College Football Playoff aspirations so it certainly wasn’t surprising to me to see the Hawks stay right at #17 in last night’s College Football Playoff rankings reveal for a second consecutive week despite being a relatively decent Illinois Fighting Illini squad.
As for the two one-loss teams that dropped games Saturday, Penn State dropped to 10th, two spots behind Minnesota who bumped back up to #8 and Oregon fell all the way to #14.
While it might be slightly disappointing to see the Iowa football team stick at #17, there is a good chance we see them move up next week as long as they take care of business against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Black Friday.
As I mentioned in an earlier article, #16 Notre Dame, #15 Auburn, #13 Michigan, and #12 Wisconsin have tough games this weekend, and a loss will inevitably cause a drop in the rankings leaving room for the Iowa Hawkeyes to fill the vacated spot.
The most important one to focus on as far as bowl aspirations go is #13 Michigan versus #1 Ohio State though. Right now, I have the Iowa football team slated to go to the Holiday Bowl, but it may be difficult for the committee to put them in over a higher-ranked Wolverine squad.
And while a loss doesn’t guarantee the Wolverines fall past the Hawks given their identical record and Iowa’s head-to-head loss to Michigan, a point can be made that Iowa lost in Ann Arbor, a difficult place to play.
Furthermore, both teams have common opponent losses on the books as Michigan got blown out by Wisconsin in Madison whereas the Iowa football team lost by two points in a game that went down to the wire. Those kinds of things matter in the committee’s eyes.
So barring a few big upsets and an unfortunate and ill-timed loss to Nebraska, the Iowa football team should be moving up in the College Football Playoff rankings next week, which sets them up nicely for the Holiday Bowl.