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Iowa Football: Ranking the Toughest Opponents on Hawkeyes' 2013 Schedule

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Iowa Football: Ranking the Toughest Opponents on Hawkeyes' 2013 Schedule
Matthew Holst/Getty Images

With spring ball well underway and the Iowa spring game just 10 days away, Hawkeye fans want to know how tough the schedule looks for 2013.

It won't be easy considering the Hawkeyes' three Big Ten opponents not on the schedule are Illinois, Indiana and Penn State. Illinois was shut out in Big Ten play in 2012 and Indiana managed only four wins overall. 

The 2012 season was a disappointment to say the least, with Iowa posting its first losing record in the regular season since 2000 at 4-8. It also was only the fourth time in the Kirk Ferentz era that Iowa failed to reach a bowl game. 

In ranking the toughest games, it's always important to look at the results from 2012, returning players and coaches and how much of a factor home field will be. The Hawkeyes are familiar with many of their opponents inside and outside the Big Ten. Two of their nonconference opponents are against teams they played in 2012.

Challenges await this fall, but this is what Iowa must overcome to get back into the Big Ten race.

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