All eyes are on the Hawkeyes after a Perfect Regular Season
Posted by: Anthony Yaylor
The Iowa Hawkeyes had modest expectations heading into the 2015 season but no one in the world of football betting expected them to post an impressive 12 – 2 record. After going 7 – 6 the previous year, to say that the Hawkeyes had a turnaround in 2015 would be an understatement. Head coach Kirk Ferentz – who is currently tied for the longest current tenured coach in the FBS – was heading into his 17th season and was able to break a school record for single-season wins. The pressure will be on Iowa this year to be able to build on last year’s success and after posting an 8 – 0 conference record the Big Ten will be hungry for revenge.
The Big Ten will certainly be waiting to get back at Iowa, but at the same time Iowa will have their eyes on Michigan State – the school responsible for the Hawkeyes playoff absence. The Big Ten championship game wasn’t high scoring and it took Michigan State a final quarter drive to win the game. But a close game doesn’t mean that Iowa isn’t bitter and they’ll be vying to make sure they don’t miss out on the playoffs this season.
It’s hard to validate setting a school record for single-season wins and not clinching a playoff berth. After all going 12 – 0 during the regular season is no easy feat, and had they beaten Michigan State they would’ve been a shoe-in for the playoffs. As things stand now Iowa still has a pretty solid chance of making a playoff run this season. Their football betting odds are listed at +755 to win the Big Ten pegging them as the 3rd favorite within the conference. Iowa didn’t have huge expectations last season and still performed exceptionally well, hopefully they’ll be able to repeat that this year.
One key to Iowa’s success will be CJ Beathard, their starting quarterback. Beathard struggled to stay healthy last year and Iowa was still able to manage but there’s no question the Hawkeyes are a better team when he’s on the field. Pair him with a strong receiving core and there’s no doubt football betting fans will be convinced that Beathard is the best quarterback in the Big Ten.
Bobby Kennedy is the man responsible for the wideouts and it will be his duty to make sure the play at wide receiver is exemplary. Matt VandeBerg and Riley McCarron are two college football veterans and should be able to help Beathard carry the load, but with five departing players on offense Iowa will have to find some other options on offense. Jay Scheel is a sophomore who could be more than a viable option at the receiver position. If Kennedy can coach up true freshman Devonte Young to be a solid 4th option at receiver, this team could have a very dangerous tandem at the wideout position.
Iowa’s defense might even be better than their offense and a big part of that is defensive back Desmond King. King led Iowa last year with 8 interceptions and the Hawkeyes will be looking to him to lead this defense in 2016. At the end of the day Iowa is one team you’ve got to keep your eye on if you’re going to bet on NCAA football games.