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Iowa Hawkeyes 2013 NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Predictions

2013-14 Football Previews – (Big 10) – Hawkeyes

It’s tough to figure out the Iowa Hawkeyes. Kirk Ferentz was seen as one of college football’s top coaches a few years ago when the Hawkeyes were shocking the Big Ten and playing like one of the nation’s top teams.

Lately, Iowa has slipped a great deal. In 2012, Iowa had its worst season since 2000. The Hawkeyes finished 4-8 on the year.

Big 10 Conference 2012-2013 College Football Previews: Iowa Hawkeyes (Team Link)
Head Coach: Kirk Ferentz
2012 Record: 4-8
Iowa Gambling Odds to win BCS Championship: +100,000
Iowa Gambling Odds to win Big 10 Legends Division: +1,800
Iowa Gambling Odds to win Big 10 Conference: +4,500

The Hawkeyes actually beat a very good Northern Illinois team 18-17 in a great season opener, but followed that up with two clunkers. Iowa proceeded to lose to both Iowa State and Central Michigan in games two and three. The Hawkeyes have typically been better when expectations are low, and expectations are about as low this year as they have been for this team in a very long time. Can the Hawkeyes pull another surprise on the conference or will this program continue its recent descent?

Team Strengths:

Iowa should have plenty of guys to throw the football to this season. The Hawkeyes have a terrific tight end in C.J. Fiedorowicz, and Kirk Ferentz’s offensive system does a nice job taking advantage of a top tight end. Five of the Hawkeyes top six pass catchers from last year are back in 2013.

Iowa’s defense should be buoyed by the strength of their linebackers. Anthony Hitchens led the team with 113 tackles last year and he is back for his senior season this year. James Morris is arguably the best middle linebacker in the Big Ten, and he is very versatile. Christian Kirksey is the other outside backer who will start. There aren’t many teams in the country, let alone the Big Ten, that can boast of three linebackers as good as these three.

The offensive line is an area of strength essentially every year, and they should be very good once again in 2013. Brandon Scherff is the top prospect out of this group. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Team Weaknesses:

Replacing James Vandenburg might be tougher than most people realize. Vandenburg wasn’t a star for the team, but he was a very capable quarterback who did a nice job in the system. There is no clear cut front runner for the starting quarterback job this year, and that has to be a concern for Hawkeyes fans.

The Iowa defensive line used to be the single biggest area of strength for the team, but it has turned into a major weakness. Iowa managed just 13 sacks last year, and the defensive line is liable to be even worse in 2013. The guys behind the front line are very good, but they won’t be able to do their job unless someone on the defensive line steps up a bit.

Iowa hasn’t been able to run the ball consistently the last few years, and they’ll have to rely on the running game a lot more this season.

2013-2014 Iowa Football Prediction: 5-7

I do think Ferentz is a good coach, but he has his work cut out for him this year. Iowa has one of the toughest schedules in the Big Ten. They play Michigan State, Ohio State, Northwestern, and Wisconsin in four consecutive games during the middle of the season. That’s a brutal stretch that will probably be too much for this team to overcome. The defense should keep them in games, but I don’t think they’ll get to a bowl game this year.

2013 Iowa Schedule

8/31/13 TBD NOILL
9/7/13 TBD MSBS
9/14/13 TBD @IOWST
9/21/13 TBD WMICH
9/28/13 3:30 PM ET @MINN
10/5/13 12:00 PM ET MCHST
10/19/13 3:30 PM ET @OHIST
10/26/13 TBD NWEST
11/2/13 TBD WISC
11/9/13 TBD @PURD
11/23/13 TBD MICH
11/29/13 12:00 PM ET @NEB

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Kyle Hunter sports picks – A degree in finance and a great ability to follow important trends and statistics set him apart from the rest. Totals are Kyle's specialty, so look for a lot of totals picks from NBA, NCAAF, & the NFL. Check out his plays today.


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