The fall of the Hawkeyes

Iowa was having a dream season in 2015. Despite having one of the weakest schedules in the country, Iowa found themselves in the middle of the college Football playoff discussion. After winning their last regular season game, the Iowa Hawkeyes faced Michigan State in the Big Ten championship.

One the first play on offense, Stanford set the tone. This was one of the largest margin of victories in the history of the Rose Bowl, and the Big Ten suffered yet another huge loss on a national stage. Fellow Big Ten teams Northwestern and Michigan State were also defeated handily.

Iowa showed the nation that strength of schedule does matter, and teams that do not play quality opponents the entire year should not be given special treatment.

Is the Big Ten top heavy?

One of the biggest questions from 2015 is whether or not the Big Ten is top heavy. There are a lot of people who understand that Michigan and Ohio State can play with any team in the nation, especially teams from the SEC. However, after those two elite teams, there is not a lot of great football being played right now. Over the long term, it will be interesting to see whether the balance of power changes. There are a lot of people who are not going to believe it this year if the Iowa Hawkeyes start out hot. In the previous year, Iowa was devastated by a solid Tennessee team.

This was the second year in a row that Iowa was embarrassed in a bowl game.

2016 outlook

Iowa has a rough year ahead of them. They will not be able to sneak up anyone this year. Any team playing them will be out for revenge. They won a lot of close games last year, and this opens up the possibility that they could drop off drastically.

The college football committee was one game away from putting this Iowa team in the college football playoff. This is one of the most important lessons from last year. Just because a team is undefeated, it does not mean that they are ready to go to the playoff. Iowa pulled off a great escape last year, but they could not pull it out against a motivated Stanford team.

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