In a uniquely appropriate turn of events, a big bronze pig has become the physical manifestation of the hopes and aspirations of the 2012 Iowa Hawkeyes.
It seems crazy to call the conference opener a must-win, but after going 2-2 through the cupcake portion of their schedule, without a true road game, Saturday's showdown with the Gophers is exactly that for the Hawkeyes.
Iowa can not afford to go to East Lansing 2-3.
Saturday is Iowa's homecoming game and Kinnick Stadium is sold out for this rivalry game. If Iowa loses Floyd of Rosedale for the third consecutive season, it will be more than a bronze pig leaving Iowa City. Minnesota will be carrying Iowa's postseason aspirations out the the door. And it's only Week 5.