Iowa football ranked No. 3 in Sagarin ratings behind Alabama, Ohio State

Iowa football is a top-3 team in college football according to Jeff Sagarin’s ratings. How are the Hawkeyes rated so high?

The Iowa Hawkeyes are ranked No. 3 in the latest Sagarin college football ratings, a ranking system developed by noted mathematician Jeff Sagarin. Only Alabama (No. 1) and Ohio State (No. 2) are rated higher than the Hawkeyes.

Sagarin’s ratings have been featured in USA Today since 1985 and have been used since 1984 by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee to determine worthy participants for March Madness. The ratings were also used by the college football BCS committee from 1998 to 2014.

The exact methodology used by Sagarin’s rating system is unknown, though it does have an impressive track record in predicting spreads and wins/losses.

Iowa has a rating of 93.47 after five games and has played the 14th toughest schedule this season, according to Sagarin. For reference, the team behind the Hawkeyes is No. 4 Florida, which has a rating of 93.14. No. 2 Ohio State is ahead of Iowa with a rating of 100.37. The Big Ten has nine teams in the top 20.

Iowa, which is currently ranked No. 24 in the College Football Playoff poll, stands at 3-2 after five games. The Hawkeyes lost their opening two games to Northwestern and Purdue by a combined five points. Iowa is currently on a three-game win streak, having outscored opponents 125-35 over that span.

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