By Will Cummings
Ooh baby! Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Nebraska Huskers: The Heartland is only a football season away from partaking in what is destined to become one of the nation’s hottest college football rivalries.
The Big Ten has brought into its fold one of the most fabled college football programs in the country. In fact–from a historical perspective — winning five national championships since 1970 (1970, ’71, ’94, ’95 and ’97)–the Nebraska Huskers are the de facto best football program in the Big Ten. That’s a no-brainer considering that the entire Big Ten has only produced two national titles since 1968.
Sorry Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State: those are great programs with some legendary coaches and athletes along the way, but over the past 40 years—combined–you don’t possess near the number of college football’s finest dust catchers as the Huskers own. On the other hand, it has been thirteen years since the Huskers have added any more of them big and shinny best–in–the–land trophies to their collection. And that brings us back to the here and now. A lot of college programs have caught up to the Huskers and quite a few have simply just been better over the last dozen years or so. Case in point: the Iowa Hawkeyes.
The Iowa University Hawkeyes may have never won a single national college football championship, but throughout their history they have consistently fielded one of the better football programs in the country. And over the past decade—the Hawkeyes have produced better football teams than the Huskers as evidenced by both teams’ records and final AP rankings (click link to article on Hawkeye and Huskers stats over past decade).
This season both Iowa and Nebraska will field teams that have legitimate chances of winning their conferences and playing for a national title. Can you imagine an Iowa and Nebraska BCS game—even a championship game between the two? It’s a possibility! That is the great thing about the preseason—everything is still possible.
Below is the side-by–side comparison between the Nebraska and Iowa 2010 football schedules. Take a look and then vote for the team that you think will finish the 2010 season with the best record and highest AP poll ranking this season: Iowa or Nebraska?
Iowa Hawkeyes 2010 Football Schedule
|Location|| MHN Pick|
|Sat, Sep 04||Western Kentucky||Lincoln, NE||W||Sat, Sep 04||Eastern Illinois||Iowa City, IA||W|
|Sat, Sep 11||Idaho||Lincoln, NE||W||Sat, Sep 11||Iowa State||Iowa City, IA||W|
|Sat, Sep 18||Washington||Seattle, WA||?||Sat, Sep 18||Arizona||Tucson, AZ||?|
|Sat, Sep 25||South Dakota State||Lincoln, NE||W||Sat, Sep 25||Ball State||Iowa City, IA||W|
|Sat, Oct 02||Break||Sat, Oct 02||Penn State||Iowa City, IA||?|
|Thu, Oct 07||Kansas State||Manhattan, Kan||W||Sat, Oct 09||Break|
|Sat, Oct 16||Texas||Lincoln, NE||?||Sat, Oct 16||Michigan||Ann Arbor, MI||?|
|Sat, Oct 23||Oklahoma State||Stillwater, OK||?||Sat, Oct 23||Wisconsin||Iowa City, IA||?|
|Sat, Oct 30||Missouri||Lincoln, NE||?||Sat, Oct 30||Michigan State||Iowa City, IA||W|
|Sat, Nov 06||Iowa State||Ames, IA||W||Sat, Nov 06||Indiana||Bloomington, IN||W|
|Sat, Nov 13||Kansas||Lincoln, NE||W||Sat, Nov 13||Northwestern||Evanston, IL||?|
|Sat, Nov 20||Texas A&M||College Station, TX||?||Sat, Nov 20||Ohio State||Iowa City, IA||?|
|Fri, Nov 26||Colorado||Lincoln, NE||W||Sat, Nov 27||Minnesota||Minneapolis, MN||W|
|Sat, Dec 4||Big 12 Championship||Arlington, TX||Will they be here?||Schedule Notes: We should know a lot about the Hawkeyes by the time they meet up with Penn State. How they handle the Cyclones and their travel out West to Az will be a good indicator as to how they should perform this year against the rest of the big boys. Losses against both AZ and Penn State would be fatal to the Hawk’s psyche and their hopes for a conference title. Even if they do go into the their break at 5-0—don’t get too excited. They still must bump heads with Michigan, Wisconsin, Northwestern and Ohio State. A brutal second half! Positive is: they get the Buckeyes at home this year and it could be for all the marbles.|
|Schedule Notes: NU has good shot at being 5-0 by the time they meet up with big bad Texas at home. But Huskers are still not home free if they get by the Longhorns: They finish off the second half of schedule against Missouri and Texas A&M and Colorado won’t be a rollover. Positive is: they do not play many of the pollster’s preseason Big 12 No. 1 pick Oklahoma in regular season this year.|