The Iowa Hawkeyes' Road to Indianapolis

By Derek Helling

The 2013 Big 10 Football Championship game will be played on Saturday, December 7 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. The Iowa Hawkeyes have seven conference games between now and then in which to win a Legends division championship. Four of them are must-wins and if those go the right way, everything else should take care of itself.

The first of Iowa’s four must-wins is this Saturday. The Spartans come into town for their first conference game desperate for a win. If Iowa intends to continue on the path to its first ever Legends division title, it has to take care of Michigan State this week.

The next step for Iowa comes on October 19 at home against Northwestern. A win over the Wildcats, provided the Hawkeyes beat the Spartans, would move Iowa to 3-0 in the division and just a couple of wins away from a likely berth into the Big 10 Championship game.

The Hawkeyes’ third game that they have to win will be played November 9 in Kinnick stadium against the Michigan Wolverines. Iowa has beaten Michigan three out of the last four tries and hasn’t lost at home to the Wolverines since 2005. Making that winning streak four out of the last five and three in a row at home would leave the Hawkeyes with one more hurdle.

Iowa would then travel to Lincoln that next week to take on the Cornhuskers in what could be a de-facto division title game. This game could be the biggest challenge to the Hawkeyes’ quest to be able to print up and sell those 2013 Legends Division Champion t-shirts.

Iowa’s other three conference games are at Ohio StateWisconsin and at Purdue. Dropping even two of those three games shouldn’t kill the Hawkeyes’ chances at winning the division because those teams are in the Leaders division. In addition, the likelihood of any of the Hawkeyes’ four must-beat opponents won’t run the table in their conference schedules either.

No one expects Iowa to go 8-0 in conference. The good news is that they don’t have to. 6-2 should be good enough to win the Legends division if they can win beat Michigan State, Northwestern, Michigan and Nebraska. Not only would that give the Hawkeyes an appropriate number of wins but the head-to-head tiebreakers over all those teams. It will be a challenge but it can be done.

Derek Helling is a writer for Follow him on Twitter, “like” him on Facebook and add him on Google+.

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