Iowa State split two classic games against bully Big 12 Oklahoma, roughed up Oregon champion Pac-12 in the Fiesta Bowl, and finished the 2020 season ranked in the top 10.
One can only assume that the Cyclones would have had a good chance of ending a five-game losing streak against Iowa had the teams played their annual rivalry game for the 44th consecutive year. Instead, the Big Ten’s conference schedule during a pandemic season left Little Brother in Ames wondering what could have been.
Well the answer is upon us. ESPN’s ‘College GameDay’ team will be outside Jack Trice Stadium for No. 10 Iowa (+ 4½) to No. 9 Iowa State (3:30 p.m., Ch. 7). Inside, hungry and emotional tall dudes will bang their bellies and trade helmet paint with the in-game Cy-Hawk Trophy.
“Everyone will be talking about the state of Iowa,” said Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz, “so that’s a good thing.”
It will be tight, little marked and, given the great openness of university offenses, a delight for the elders. That Iowa running back Tyler Goodson was correct in calling this state of Iowa’s “Super Bowl” – disrespectful? – the Hawkeyes will have their hands full.
Both tusks are sturdy. Remember the names of the tight ends of Cyclones Charlie Kolar and Chase Allen – 6-6, 260 and 6-7, 250, respectively, and designed for the NFL. Add a four-year-old mobile starter in quarterback Brock Purdy and an all-star backer in Breece Hall, and the Cyclones have the advantage offensively. Series ended, 23-17.
At least the Big Ten still has the state of Ohio to hang its hat on. No. 12 Oregon (+ 14½) to No. 3 Ohio State (11 a.m., Fox-32) is one of the sexiest non-conference games of the season.
The last time the teams played, seven seasons ago, the Buckeyes dismantled the Ducks in the first game for the college football playoff title. The Ducks haven’t been the same since, but they’re back and have a monster in defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, who can pick up any game at any time. Except, maybe, for this game right now. Think of Thibodeaux as a West Coast version of Chase Young – one of the greatest Buckeyes to ever do this – but he has a sprained ankle and will likely be limited if he plays.
Yet Oregon’s recruiting has been extinct in recent years. On both sides of the ball, the Ducks can run like no Ohio State team will in the Big Ten.
“We have to understand this won’t just happen in the first five minutes of the game,” Buckeyes coach Ryan Day said. “We’re in a battle here for 60 minutes.”
Maybe not 60. Come on Bucks, 38-24.
OTHER WEEK 2 PICKS
Illinois (+10) to Virginia (10:00 AM, ACC, 890-AM): Is this the right game or the wrong game for the Illini right now? This is certainly an opportunity for Bret Bielema’s side to show what they are capable of after a win over Nebraska followed by a loss to UTSA, but non-conference road games have long been experiences. brutal for the Illini. A battle against a mediocre ACC team? It’s not that scary. Cavs in a tight.
State of Indiana (+ 26½) in the northwest (11am, BTN, 720-AM): Larry Bird doesn’t come out of this tunnel for the Sycamores. (Look, pretend he’s also good at football.) It’s a total shift, but that’s exactly what Pat Fitzgerald’s defense needs after Michigan State is shredded in the opener. in Evanston. Wild cats, 34-10.
Wyoming (+7) north of Illinois (12:30 p.m., ESPN +, 560-AM): The Huskies fly high after a shocking victory at Georgia Tech, but the Cowboys have some balls in attack. Upset alert.
Toledo (+17) at n ° 8 Notre Dame (1:30 p.m., Peacock, 780-AM): How gassed are the Irish after their 41-38 overtime win at Florida State? It’s been a short week for them too. Irish by 14.
Washington (+ 6½) in Michigan (7pm, Ch. 7): Everything makes more sense when you have a quarterback, and the Wolverines just might have this guy at Cade McNamara. The Huskies come off a humiliating 13-7 loss to Montana, but they have more juice defensively than most Big Ten teams. Go blue, 23-13.
# 21 Utah (-7) at BYU (9:15 p.m., ESPN): That’s the best rivalry nickname of all: Holy War. The Utes have won nine in a row head-to-head, and there is nothing sacred about that kind of abuse. Make 10, by 10.
My favorite favorite: Kentucky (-5) vs. Missouri (6:30 p.m., SEC): The Wildcats are going to be tough on anyone in the SEC East.
My favorite outsider: Connecticut (+35) vs. Purdue (2 p.m., CBSSN): The Huskies have already fired their coach. They are unbelievably terrible. Still, it’s our job to take an underdog with five home touchdowns.
Last week: 5-5 in a row, 6-4 ATS.
Season to date: Same.