Grant Hall, Sports Reporter

Despite a 3-1 start to the season, the road ahead for Iowa football will be a bumpy one. The Hawkeyes have maybe six realistically winnable games left on the schedule, and although Kirk Ferentz and Co. seem to overachieve every year, this season might be the outlier.

With eight games remaining, the Hawkeyes have several tough opponents looming. The Hawkeyes’ first real test is coming this Saturday when No. 4 Michigan comes to town.

Iowa’s scoring defense stands No. 1 in the nation, allowing just 5.75 points a game, but the Wolverines average 50 points per contest this season. Compared to the dead-last (No. 131) Iowa scoring offense, Jim Harbaugh’s crew looks like the Greatest Show on Turf.

Up ahead, currently undefeated teams like No. 3 Ohio State and Minnesota will likely beat the Hawkeyes too. Stopping the Buckeyes’ aerial attack behind the arm of CJ Stroud, and the Minnesota rushing attack spearheaded by 2020 Third-Team All-American back Mohamed Ibrahim, will be challenging.

Always tough rivals Wisconsin and Purdue will put up a good fight, respectively. It will be hard for the Hawkeyes to take down both those teams with their pedestrian passing numbers and a young, offensive line that is still building chemistry, and there’s a good chance that Charlie Jones puts up a bunch of yards on the Iowa defense à la David Bell.

Until the Hawkeyes find a more effective coordinator to run their arcane offensive scheme, they’ll find very little success. Expect a 5-7, or at best 6-6, record with a late-season collapse capped off by a win over Nebraska.

If everything goes wrong, the Hawkeyes will go 5-7 with losses to Iowa State, Michigan, Ohio State, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. It’s unlikely that Iowa would be chosen for a bowl with a sub .500 record.

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