Austin Hanson

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Ames, might become ground zero for the most potent mixture in the history of college football on Saturday. In Ames, Lee Corso, the Iowa Hawkeyes, and the Iowa State Cyclones will come together for one magical day. 2019’s iteration of the Cy-Hawk game might go down as the most highly anticipated sporting event to ever grace the gridirons of the Midwest.

On paper, the Hawkeyes and the Cyclones seem evenly matched. Sports books around the country reflect this notion. The favorite to win seems to vary from book to book. Whether the favorite listed is the Hawkeyes or the Cyclones, one thing remains constant: The margin of victory for the winning team is projected to be very thin.

When teams stay within a touchdown of each other over the course of a game, external factors tend to weigh more heavily on the outcome of the game. There will be no shortage of external factors that could influence the outcome of Saturday’s game.

The external factor that will have the greatest impact on the Cy-Hawk game is likely ESPN’s College GameDay. College GameDay is coming to Ames because the Hawkeyes are compelling, not because the Cyclones are 1-0. GameDay doesn’t show up for teams that barely beat Northern Iowa after three overtime periods. GameDay shows up for teams that have a shot to win the Big Ten, and the Hawkeyes will have a chance to do so this season.

Just before 11 a.m. Saturday Lee Corso will plop Herky’s head on his own. He will proclaim Hawkeye victory, and Ames will hear Hawkeye fans’ voices. The inflation Lee Corso gives the Hawkeyes and their fans will be too great for the deflated Cyclones to overcome. On Saturday, College GameDay will prove to be the X-factor that instigates a Hawkeye victory.

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