Point/Counterpoint | What will Iowa football’s win-loss record be in 2021-22?
Two DI staffers debate what the Hawkeyes’ final win-loss total will be this season.
August 23, 2021
Iowa football will equal its loss total from a year ago and finish this season’s normal-length slate with 10 wins.
Five points were all that separated the Hawkeyes from a perfect record last season, as Iowa’s lone losses came to Purdue, 24-20, and Northwestern, 21-20.
Although an undefeated season is not in the cards this year, 10-2 is a reachable mark.
On offense, let’s assume that junior quarterback Spencer Petras has gotten better with time. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt there. If he does not improve this year, 10-2 is not possible. So, for the sake of speculation, let’s say he’s going to be better this year.
Petras won’t throw the ball very often because Iowa has some guy named Tyler Goodson in the backfield. He is the guy that will make the Hawkeyes go this year.
Goodson is coming off an impressive sophomore campaign that saw him run for seven touchdowns and average nearly six yards per carry in just eight games.
He’s currently ranked as the fourth-best draft-eligible running back in the country by ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. Goodson also has his own YouTube series called “Dreams 2 Reality,” and that has to count for something, right?
Defensively, the Hawkeyes lost some mainstays at all three levels, but, as he always does, Phil Parker will work something out. The new starters have seen plenty of playing time in the past, so there’s no reason to think Iowa’s defense won’t be up to snuff this year.
Iowa’s toughest games will be in Ames, Evanston, and Madison this season. The Hawkeyes will likely be challenged by No. 17 Indiana and No. 19 Penn State in Iowa City too.
10-2. Mark my words.
Over the past two seasons, Iowa football has competed in ten games decided by eight points or less. In those games, the Hawkeyes went 5-5.
This season, Iowa has seven games on its schedule that are likely to be decided by eight points or less. Those games pit the Hawkeyes against Indiana, Iowa State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Northwestern, and Nebraska.
Using recent history as a barometer, the Hawkeyes should only win 50 percent of the seven games they’ll play in that will be decided by eight points or less in 2021-22.
Obviously, Iowa can’t win exactly 3.5 of its games that are decided by eight points or less. So, I’ll pretend the Hawkeyes are going to win three games by a single possession this season.
I’ll chalk the other five games on Iowa’s schedule up as Hawkeye wins.
If Iowa wins those five games and picks up three victories in its other seven games — most of which will likely be decided by eight points or less — the Hawkeyes’ win-loss total should be 8-4 at the end of the 2021-22 season.
The Hawkeyes’ losses will probably come to the four teams on their schedule that are currently ranked in the Associated Press’ preseason top 25: No. 17 Indiana, No. 7 Iowa State, No. 19 Penn State, and No. 12 Wisconsin.
Wins over Northwestern, Purdue, and Nebraska aren’t guaranteed either. The Hawkeyes lost to both Northwestern and Purdue last season. And in its last three games against Nebraska, Iowa has won by just a single possession.
While some may see Iowa going 10-2 this season, I think a more realistic projection for the Hawkeyes in 2021-22 is 8-4.