What are the odds Iowa plays in the College Football Playoff?

We now know when the College Football Playoff will be played, but can Iowa crack the field this season?
2022 CFP National Championship - Georgia v Alabama
2022 CFP National Championship - Georgia v Alabama / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The College Football Playoff announced Wednesday when each game will take place in the first season with an expanded 12-team field.

As we knew, the first four games will be played on college campuses. The first of those games will be played on Friday, December 20, while the other three will take place the following Saturday.

But now that we know the layout of the games, what are the odds the Iowa Hawkeyes host or play in one of these first four games?

The Hawkeyes are among the few teams with a realistic path to the College Football Playoff. While Iowa isn't exactly a favorite to win the Big Ten, especially without the assistance of divisions, the Hawkeyes have a favorable schedule with Ohio State being by far the most difficult task.

ESPN's Football Power Index (FPI) agrees as it projects Iowa to have the second-easiest schedule in the Big Ten. Still, FPI only gives the Hawkeyes a 7% chance of winning six or more games with a projected record of 7-5.

FPI also gives us a glimpse into Iowa's chances of reaching the College Football Playoff. The data gives the Hawkeyes a 7.4% chance of reaching the field of 12 in December, the 6th-best chance in the conference.

With Iowa coming off a poor offensive showing in 2023, it's easy to understand why the data would skew away from the Hawkeyes so heavily.

The betting books don't show much favor either. FanDuel currently has the odds of Iowa reaching the College Football Playoff at +680, the 6th-worst odds of the seven teams with any odds at all, besting only Washington.

While the odds are low, a path to 10+ wins for Iowa exists. The toughest games outside of Ohio State are Washington, Wisconsin and Iowa State. As long as Iowa stays healthy and handles business against inferior rosters, they'll be in a position to make a case late in the season.

While even an 11-1 season might not guarantee a playoff spot, especially if the Big 12 and the SEC both have strong candidates for wild card spots themselves, any team with at least 10 wins could find themselves in the mix to either host or at the very least reach one of those four games.

Up Next: