Game Info / How to Watch
Who? Iowa Hawkeyes (8-0, #16 S&P+) v. Indiana Hoosiers (4-4, #68 S&P+)
When? Saturday, 11/7, 3:30 PM, Bloomington, Indiana
Channel? ESPN / WatchESPN
Vegas? INDIANA +7
After the collapse against Rutgers and 53 minutes of decent football on the road in East Lansing prior to the floodgates opening, Indiana's bye week mercifully arrived for Halloween. A bye week that has hopefully re-energized the team and allowed its numerous injuries to heal fully. Indiana's eternal goal of achieving bowl eligibility remains within reach, but the remaining home games involve top notch opponents (Iowa, Michigan) and games against fellow bottom-dwellers (Maryland, Purdue) must be played on the road.
It seems like Indiana has been knocking on the door of a major upset in Memorial Stadium for years. One would think, if they put themselves in that position enough, they'll eventually topple a giant in front of their home fans.
Doing it this week would be cool, IMO.
THE OPPONENT: (#16 S&P+, #46 Offense, #9 Defense)
THE HOOSIERS: (#68 S&P+, #20 Offense, #110 Defense)
STUFF TO WATCH FOR
- Make the third quarter decisive. When the third quarter rolls around, Indiana has been the nation's 19th best offense and 24th best defense by S&P+. Meanwhile, Iowa has been the nation's 92nd best offense and 45th best defense. Sometimes one great quarter is all a team needs to pull of an upset, perhaps the Hoosiers can do enough in the third quarter to ride out a white knuckle victory in the 4th. Perhaps they'll be so far behind at halftime it won't matter. Perhaps the world will disintegrate as it is consumed by an exploding star tomorrow. Anything is possible!
- Will anyone show up? Two straight losses, one embarrassing, one somewhat admirable, then a bye week and then pseudo-televised basketball combine for a recipe of INDIANA FOOTBALL APATHY. Despite all its goals still achievable and a high-level opponent in town, I'm afraid the Indiana faithful won't make a tremendous effort to come out to Memorial Stadium, despite an ideal 3:30 start on ESPN. Unfortunately, it is ingrained in too many people to use football as a means of killing off the last couple of months before the beloved basketball team starts back up. The weather turns cold and, in all fairness, the football team's season is usually all but over. THAT SAID: despite everything that has happened, they remain only 2 games short of bowl eligibility with 4 to play, and could even sneak in at 5-7 thanks to an overall lack of bowl eligible teams! Come on guys! Go watch football! It'll be fun! Maybe!
- Something dumb is gonna happen, what do you think it'll be? Indiana and Iowa enjoy a strong recent history of whacky plays and outcomes. Kellen Lewis scooping up a Josiah Sears fumble and scoring a long touchdown (which went down in the books as receiving yards and a receiving touchdown, despite recording no catches in that game), that stupidly amazing interception in 2009 (rest in peace, Tyler Sash), that dropped go-ahead touchdown on 4th down in 2010, the fact that Indiana actually won in 2012, and more I'm probably forgetting. What I'm getting at is: a lot of dumb stuff has happened in this series recently that played a large role in determining the outcome of the game, maybe this year it could happen to Iowa instead and lead to an Indiana victory. Like, just once.