COLUMN: Hawks control their own destiny

OFF THE MARK COLUMN
By: 
Mark Spensley
Express Co-Publisher

     Mark me down as jealous, jealous that I missed out on attending what may come down to being the most important game ever played in Kinnick Stadium. I also missed the other one, #1 versus #2 in 1987. Iowa’s win over Michigan.

     Back in 1987 I do not quite remember why I didn’t try to attend that game. 2021’s reason was a pretty important one: Grandson Sullivan turned 6.

     The Hawks really do control their own destiny now. Halfway through their 2021 schedule and they find themselves 6-0, having defeated three top 25 teams. Both Indiana and Iowa State were ranked higher at the time. Penn State was just one number below, ranked number 4.

     Up next for Iowa is Purdue followed by Wisconsin, Northwestern, Minnesota, Illinois and ending with Nebraska. Only Purdue and Minnesota currently have winning records. None of those six teams are ranked.

     If Iowa keeps being Iowa, playing stellar defense and special teams, their offense should be able to move the ball better against their next six opponents. If they do run the schedule, who will they face in the Big 10 championship game?

     Right now, Michigan St., Michigan and Ohio St. are all undefeated in the East Division. Penn State could easily force a rematch of last Saturday’s game. We won’t find out much about the East until Oct. 30, and even then, the East likely won’t be decided until the last week of the regular season. Michigan plays Michigan State in East Lansing, and Penn St. plays Ohio State in Columbus Oct. 30.

     Two weeks later, Michigan travels to Penn State. On Nov. 20, Michigan State travels to Columbus. Nov. 27 is the Ohio State vs. Michigan game in Ann Arbor. Iowa probably could lose one game and still win the West. If Iowa does make it to Indianapolis, I sure wouldn’t mind traveling to that game, played Dec. 4.

     Except deer season starts that weekend. Oh, and it also is my wife’s birthday!

 

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