Who the Hawkeyes play, and when. Tyler Davis/The Register
The lukewarm summer perception surrounding Iowa football has begun.
Athlon Sports released its online version of the Hawkeyes’ 2017 season preview Monday. The magazine predicts Kirk Ferentz’s 19th Iowa team to rank No. 44 nationally in FBS and says it “probably won’t be much of a threat in the Big Ten West this season.”
They pick Iowa fourth in the seven-team division, with Wisconsin winning it.
Those with sharp memories (or Google) can remember that two seasons ago, Athlon and the league’s media picked Iowa to finish fourth in the Big Ten West. That Hawkeye team went 12-0 in the regular season before suffering losses in the league championship game and in the Rose Bowl.
Of course, on the flip side, Athlon picked Iowa to win the Big Ten West last season. And that didn’t pan out either, as the Hawkeyes tied with Nebraska for second in the division.
Athlon’s prediction is in line with what Las Vegas sportsbooks are forecasting, as well. The guys in the desert have set Iowa’s over/under win total for the 2017 regular season at 6.5.
Iowa's biggest question marks this offseason swirl around an unsettled quarterback race, almost no depth at wide receiver and a schedule that includes Ohio State for the first time since 2013.