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Iowa takes on Michigan State tonight in the Hawkeyes' most important game in a generation, and likely ever. The Big Ten Conference title and a College Football Playoff berth are at stake in Indianapolis. The biggest of all the big games is here, in case you haven't heard.

Iowa also seems to be the biggest of all the big, bad villains this NCAA season, for reasons we're still trying to figure out.

Either way, ESPN and the "College GameDay" crew were on-site Saturday morning in Indiana's capital city. And good, bad, funny or indifferent, they were talking about the 12-0 Hawkeyes.

We'll save you the three-hour rewatch. Here's what you missed:

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8:05 a.m.: At least give ESPN credit for propping up the Big Ten Conference. Host Rece Davis talks about the added importance of tonight's game. Mascot maestro Lee Corso props up the league for saying they're the lone conference with an outside shot at two teams in the playoff. And top analyst Kirk Herbstreit says it's the only conference with a title game that has a win-and-in scenario for either participant.

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8:08 a.m.: Kirk Ferentz talks with ESPN's Tom Rinaldi and is aware of the challenge Connor Cook and the Spartans provide.

"It's not easy, he's a tremendous football player," he said of the Michigan State signal-caller. "Two tremendous quarterbacks in this game, needless to say. ... It'd be easier if they didn't have a strong running game to complement it. That's the beauty of their offense -- they're really diverse."

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8:10 a.m.: ESPN's number-crunching algorithm doesn't like Iowa's chances much tonight. I'm sure the fan base cares.

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8:12 a.m.: Cue up this gem in the GameDay sign department. Very nice.

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8:14 a.m.: Lee Corso has had Michigan State on GameDay three times already this year. Despite the Spartan love, he's picked against the green and white all three times this fall. The Spartans are 3-0. "Iowa doesn't want me to pick them, either!" Corso said. "... Don't pick anyone, and I'll make everyone happy."

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8:20 a.m.: Rece Davis loved this Iowa fan's get-up.

"Looks like Herbie back in his Ohio State days!" he said, earning several giggles.

"Flowing locks," the ex-Buckeyes quarterback responded.

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8:39 a.m.: The seemingly Iowa-heavy crowd got vocal during a lengthy talk about the coaching carousel. (Don't think Hawkeyes fans are worrying much about that one anymore.) Anyway, the "I-O-W-A" was piping through the speakers, loud and clear.

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8:41 a.m.: Another underrated sign contender. Simple, yet effective. Everybody will probably gravitate toward that Colin Cowherd sign in the background, though. About 84 percent of Iowa fans would probably say that's the best picture the Fox Sports Radio host has ever taken.

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8:45 a.m.: They were bound to talk about Michigan State eventually. First, some Connor Cook love. Then, an interview with Mark Dantonio.

"Ultimately, what's going to make the difference is that we're going to have to find the inches (of advantage)," Dantonio said of what he perceives as two evenly-matched teams.

He also talked about facing an undefeated underdog.

"I don't know if we ever go into a game thinking that we're favored. I think we go into a game thinking that we're focused," he said. "And that makes the difference."

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8:48 a.m.: Good vibes? ESPN mentions that the betting underdogs have won the past three Big Ten title games: Wisconsin in 2012 (vs. Nebraska), Michigan State in 2013 (vs. Ohio State), and even fifth-ranked Ohio State was a slight dog in last year's game against the No. 13 Badgers. I just repeat what they say, people.

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8:53 a.m.: Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany stopped by to talk about scheduling formulas, the playoff rankings, and so on. The Iowa signage contingent was on point, in the meantime.

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9:02 a.m.: The second hour kicks off with the obligatory College Football Playoff talk. Committee chairman Jeff Long wouldn't really say anything. Will you say Big 12 Conference champion Oklahoma's in, Jeff? The Sooners aren't even playing today, and they're already ranked third.

"No, I would not."

OK, then. Good use of time, there.

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9:09 a.m.: In the playoff makeup, there seems to be a lot more love for Stanford jumping into the top four if Clemson or Alabama goes down tonight. More so than North Carolina (at No. 10) earning a spot anyway. And it Stanford PLUS Alabama/Clemson lose ... well, my head will start hurting.

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9:13 a.m.: What if the non-Big Ten games stay true to form? Desmond Howard says Iowa should be ranked third if Iowa wins tonight. Big cheers followed. Lee Corso predicts Michigan State would be ranked third (perhaps a headgear hint). There were fewer cheers after that. Kirk Herbstreit says the Big Ten champ, no matter who it'll be, should be seeded fourth.

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9:20 a.m.: The "fan of the week" was Kyle Cerchio, an Iowa fifth-year senior. He offered this one-liner: "My mom asked me if I was going to graduate last year, and you know what I said to her? Bah! Not so fast!" (That's a Lee Corso imitation, my friend.)

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9:27 a.m.: My favorite non-Iowa line of the day so far: A Florida security officer caught an errant end zone pass in last week's Florida State game. "The Gators' offense could use him!" Kirk Herbstreit said. So cold. So right. So funny.

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9:36 a.m.: See, Iowa? ESPN loves you.

And that fan may have gotten his idea from us (with the help of Iowa Nice Guy Scott Siepker):

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Hawk Central presents the Iowa Nice Guy, Scott Siepker, on bias against Iowa Hawkeyes in college football playoffs ahead of the Big Ten Championship match up with Michigan State. Brian Powers, Michael Zamora/The Register; Scott Siepker

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9:38 a.m.: OPINION ALERT: Tom Rinaldi is great at tugging on the emotional heartstrings. He's less great at the humor thing.

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9:41 a.m.: The swarm gets a shout-out.

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10:03 a.m.: We hit the mid-show lull, but they brought some third-hour signs out. Not sure if this had a bizarro-world feel of one of those "Saturday Night Live" sketches they toss into the last 15-20 minutes of the show, but here was one of the more eclectic offerings.

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10:14 a.m.: NASCAR's Joey Logano was scheduled to be the guest picker later on in the broadcast. But the Indiana fog kept his flight away. ESPN had tight end extraordinaire Dallas Clark as the bullpen man. Iowa fans didn't mind the announcement.

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10:20 a.m.-10:25 a.m.: You probably know the Brett Greenwood story. But prepare to get fresh chills watching the 5-minute piece from Gene Wojciechowski. How much did the story mean to Kirk Ferentz? Take a look.

The ESPN video feature is quite moving. Check it out here, or through the tweet above.

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10:27 a.m.: Kirk Ferentz was aware of Connor Cook's quarterback talent a long time ago.

"Connor is an excellent football player, and ironically, his coming-out party was against us two years ago in 2013. He hasn't looked back since."

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10:28 a.m.: ESPN thinks tonight's game will be close. Recent history says you'd be foolish to assume anything else.

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10:29 a.m.: Former SEC defensive player of the year David Pollack has a breakdown of the Raider package. Desmond King unsurprisingly gets some love. Another special mention goes to Josey Jewell's in-play awareness at the snap. "Collectively, these guys are in the gaps where they're supposed to be."

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10:32 a.m.: Desmond Howard takes his turn praising the Iowa offense. Just about everybody on the offensive line gets a mention for their blocking prowess. It's not all negative, if you can take my word for it.

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10:36 a.m.: The first pick is in. Forget the niceties of seven minutes ago -- David Pollack takes Michigan State.

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10:51 a.m.: We're coming down the stretch. Dallas Clark has joined the GameDay crew.

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10:57 a.m.: We get to the three-hour climax: the main crew's picks.

Desmond Howard likes Michigan State on paper, but he's not about to doubt Iowa's magic brewing in 2015. He takes the Hawkeyes.

The guest, Dallas Clark, is next. He loves Iowa. He loves C.J. Beathard. He hates the fluke talk. "This team is for real." He takes the Hawkeyes, too.

Kirk Herbstreit is calling UNC-Clemson, so he gets to make a pick as well. He sees an extremely close matchup, but he likes Michigan State's defense a shade more. He takes the Spartans.

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10:59 a.m.: Lee Corso's headgear track record is pretty bad this year. He's 3-10, he said, in 2015. And he trotted out that 0-3 mark in Michigan State-related contests from a couple hours back, too.

Well, you can't fool the same man four times, he says! (Cue your furrowed brow.)

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11:01 a.m.: So the final tally is 2-2, with David Pollack's 10:30 pick being the tiebreaking vote for Michigan State if you want to count that. And let's be honest, you probably want the world against you at this point, anyway.

At least we can all still get along.

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