These Are The 5 Most Important Hawkeye Football Games This Year
We definitely don't want to look past summer and jump right into the fall. Summer goes by fast in the state of Iowa, so you and I both should definitely try to enjoy the warm weather as much as possible.
I just can't help that I already have the itch to start thinking about football season. The NFL draft recently wrapped up, spring ball is over for college football programs, and the summer workouts will begin soon for our Iowa Hawkeyes.
In October of last year, the Hawkeye schedule for the 2023 season was released and I still believe their schedule is much easier this year than last year. The Hawkeyes won't have to play 2 of the biggest powerhouse teams in the Big 10, so they do have a pretty favorable schedule.
Hawkeyes 5 Most Important Games of 2023
USA Today put together the 5 most important Hawkeye games in 2023 and I was curious if you agreed with their rankings.
5 - Iowa vs Minnesota On Oct. 21
I was born in Minnesota and for the most part, I'll always root for my hometown teams. For some reason, the Gophers are always lingering around the upper half of the Big 10 West rankings. Great news for Hawkeye fans, the Gophs just never seem to beat them.
If Iowa wants to be a contender in the Big 10 this season, they'll have to continue the dominance over our neighbors to the north, and I see no reason why they can't continue to do that, especially playing at Kinnick Stadium.
4 - Iowa at Iowa State On Sep. 9
Last year, the Cyclones pulled off a win against the Hawkeyes. With a game this big, this early in the season, it should be a great test for the Hawkeyes to find out how good they are and can be. Early season games this big can be huge momentum builders for a team and Hawkeye fans are hoping to get revenge on the 10-7 loss last year.
Losing this game could be a massive momentum crusher in week 2 of the college football season.
3 - Iowa at Penn State On Sep. 23
Both of these teams have a good chance to enter this week 4 game with a 3-0 record if they take care of business the first 3 weeks of the season. Iowa will travel to Happy Valley for this match-up and Penn State is one of the toughest road games on any team's schedule.
They likely will head into the game as underdogs and this gives them the perfect chance to show the rest of the Big 10 they are for real.
2 - Iowa at Nebraska On Nov. 24
USA Today placed this matchup as the second most important game of the Hawkeye season, which surprised me a little bit. I'm not sure why USA Today feels this game is this important. I understand why it's in the top 5 but number 2?
It might have something to do with the fact that it's the last game of the year and could have a major impact on where Iowa lands in the Big 10 West. With Matt Rhule taking over at Nebraska this could possibly be a trap game for Iowa if they take this game lightly.
1 - Iowa at Wisconsin On Oct. 14
Right now the Big 10 West will likely be won by either Iowa or Wisconsin. They're probably the two best-looking teams on paper and if it does come down to these two teams, this game will be massive. Wisconsin brought in Luke Fickell as head coach in Nov of 2022 and he is practically re-inventing Wisconsin football. I say re-inventing because he likes to throw the ball.
The days of Wisconsin running the ball 60 times a game appears to be in the review mirror. Whoever wins this game will likely have a leg up in a tight race as the season comes to a close.
Do you agree with USA Today's list? It's pretty hard to disagree that these matchups are all very important but I would actually switch Nebraska to the number 5 spot and then move every other game up a spot. Let me know what you think in the comments!