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Ranking: 15 (AP and USA Today)
Reason for the low ranking: The Hawkeyes went on the road early in the season, and though they mounted a valiant comeback, they were ultimately thwarted by a late Arizona TD pass.
Why they deserve to be higher: Though they have lost a game, the nature of that loss must be taken into account. They played a talented Arizona team on the road. In addition to facing a hostile crowd, the Wildcats have a stifling defense, giving up only 231 yards/game and 11 points.
Iowa, too, is a defensively stout team, giving up just over 11 points and 242 yards per game. This past weekend, the Hawkeyes suffocated a struggling Penn State attack in a 24-3 victory.
Additionally, the Hawkeyes' Ricky Stanzi is a capable signal caller who is averaging over 254 yards/game in the air and has thrown for 11 touchdowns. Though, the Iowa rushing attack isn't as powerful as in years past, Stanzi and his receiving corps are capable of shouldering the offensive load.
This is a very dangerous one-loss team, one that should be ranked ahead of teams like Utah, Miami, and offensively challenged LSU. The Hawkeyes do have their work cut out for them in the coming weeks, however, with games against Michigan, Michigan State, and Wisconsin in succession after a bye week.