Can Iowa Pull off A Major Upset this Weekend? History Says Maybe
I don't tend to dive too deep into the "statistics" when it comes to sports. I am more like a casual fan who just sits back and enjoys the game until I don't, and with my chosen teams there just happens to be a lot of "don'ts" this season. But when you see a statistic like this, it tends to stand out and you take notice.
Iowa is a 29-point underdog at #2 Ohio State this Saturday. That's not the surprising part. What is surprising is how well they've done as that big of an underdog (or bigger) in the Kirk Ferentz era. The Cedar Rapids Gazette's Mike Hlas broke it down:
The last time Iowa was an underdog by that large of a margin was in 2017, against Ohio State. Iowa won, 55-24, literally winning by as many points as they were projected to lose by (31 points).
The year before, it was against Michigan when Iowa shattered the 21-point spread and won 14-13 in 2016.
Putting aside those two victories being on the home turf of Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, we go way back to the year 2000 for their last gargantuan underdog away game. This was a game in Kirk Ferentz's second season, against Nebraska (when they were still someone to be worried about). As 41.5-point underdogs, Iowa "only" lost by a margin of 42-13. A moral victory, indeed. Meanwhile, this year's Black Friday game could give the Hawkeyes their 8th straight victory over the Huskers. My, how the tables have turned.
That 2017 Ohio State win is a pretty famous game to this day, by the way. See the featured image attached to this article for the celebration that ensued. Will history repeat itself in 2022? (Nah).
Let's not let our optimism get the best of us, because this year's Iowa team isn't playing as they should or have in the past, but if anyone has proven that miracles can happen, it's Iowa.