Campus Cruise- Big Ten West Prediction

2018 Recap: This was head coach Kirk Ferentz’s 20th season as the head coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes. Heading into the season, the Big Ten West was wide open, especially with Wisconsin struggling to show any type of consistency. When you look back at each game, they played in 2018, they were in each one of them. Their biggest loss was an 11-point defeat at the hands of the Wisconsin Badgers. They finished the regular season with an 8-5 record for third place in the Big Ten West and an invite to the Pinstripe Bowl where they defeated the Boston College Eagles.

Key Losses: TE Noah Fant, TE T.J. Hockenson, WR Nick Easley, DE Anthony Nelson & S Amani Hooker.

2019 Outlook: This is such an unpredictable division and heading into Spring practice, there wasn’t that much of a significant gap between one and five in the division. I’m picking the Iowa Hawkeyes to win the Big Ten West for the first time since 2015. Quarterback Nate Stanley returns along with their top three running backs from a season ago. This is an offense that averaged 31 points a game. Offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz must build up Stanley’s group of receivers which will come with time. They will develop and be on the same page as the season goes on. Iowa will have another solid offensive line in 2019, especially with the duo of Alaric Jackson and Tristan Wirfs leading the way up front. The defense did lose a few pieces, but I don’t think it’s enough to see a significant drop in production. They have one of the toughest road schedules in the country this year. They make trips to Ames to play Iowa State and they also face Michigan, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Nebraska all on the road.