Iowa Hawkeye Football: Swing Games That Will Determine Success in 2012

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Iowa Hawkeye Football: Swing Games That Will Determine Success in 2012
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

August is upon us and September 1 will be here soon. We have analyzed the players, team units, coaching, the schedule and even posted a picture or two of the cheerleaders. 

Why stop now?

There is still so much more to learn before toe meets leather.

Let's look at this year's Iowa swing games. Every year, you can divide up your opponents into three categories: 1) the games you are likely to win; 2) the games you could easily lose; and 3) the games that could go either way—the swing games.

I define a swing game as a contest that is projected to be decided by eight points or less. Your team may be favored or the underdog but either way, it is by no more than a single score and conversion.

To a fan's eyes, these games are a lock, but the bookmakers, who get into comparisons as a business, see them quite differently.

According to my analysis, Iowa's case this year goes like this.

They have five games where they are likely to be favored by more than eight points—I see those as likely wins.

The Hawkeyes have two road games in which they are considered the underdog by more than eight points. They could easily lose these two. If both games were at home, they would be considered swing games.

That leaves five swing games.

Of the five, my information indicates Iowa would be favored to win four of them if they played tomorrow and they are only a 4.5-point underdog in the fifth.

Read on! And let's see if your picks agree with mine.

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