The Iowa Hawkeyes are riding a four-game winning streak heading into their final regular season game of the year against Nebraska.
Iowa will clinch the Big Ten West with a victory over the Cornhuskers, who the Hawkeyes have beaten in seven straight meetings.
According to Caesars Sportsbook, the Hawkeyes have opened up as nine-point favorites over Nebraska as Friday’s matchup awaits. If the Hawkeyes beat the Cornhuskers in Iowa City this coming Friday, then Iowa will be the Big Ten West champs and play in the Big Ten Championship for the second straight season. It would be Iowa’s third Big Ten Championship game appearance since 2015.
“I haven’t said a word about it,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said on Saturday when asked about if he’s mentioned Iowa’s Big Ten West chances to his team. “I know our guys know it because it was brought into them on Tuesday by members outside and I imagine everyone is talking about it, I’m assuming. Our guys know what’s going on.”
“The message last week was none of that mattered if we couldn’t get to seven [wins] this week. So that was our goal, to win our fourth game since coming out of Columbus. That’s really where our focus was now. It shapes up to be a really significant game that way. You’re always hoping to be playing for something in November.”
“I don’t know anything about gambling, but I’m guessing if you put $10 on us four weeks ago, you’d probably be okay. It probably would’ve been a good deal.”
The Huskers are 3-8 on the season with a 2-6 conference record and currently have a head coach under the interim tag in Mickey Joseph, who took over after Scott Frost was fired earlier this fall.
Nebraska is currently on a five-game losing streak, with three of its four losses against Big Ten West foes coming by double-digits, including a 15-14 loss at home against Wisconsin this Saturday.
Iowa has won seven straight meetings against the Huskers, but the last four matchups have all been decided by single-digits, including last year’s game where Nebraska held a lead over the Hawkeyes for much of the contest.
Iowa and Nebraska are scheduled to kickoff at 3:00 PM CT on the Big Ten Network on Friday, Nov. 25. The ESPN Matchup Predictor gives the Hawkeyes an 82.9 percent chance to win.
The Big Ten East crown will also be decided next week. Ohio State and Michigan will go head to head in Columbus, Ohio as both teams have an undefeated record going into The Big Game.
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