It's a battle of undefeated teams and the Big Ten vs. the Big 12 when the ESPN College GameDay crew hosts Saturday's showdown between No. 19 Iowa and Iowa State.
After watching LSU take down Texas, Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Desmond Howard, Maria Taylor, David Pollack and the crew visit a new locale in what should be a thriller in its own right, featuring on-the-rise programs and conference hopefuls.
There is much to decide here that makes the preview show's pick understandable, with the Cyclones seeking a statement game after failing to win in this series since 2014. The Hawkeyes would like another year with the Cy-Hawk trophy, though they look like one of the more vulnerable ranked teams this week.
Here's everything to know about the preview show and rivalry matchup.
College GameDay Week 3 Info
Date: Saturday, September 14
Time (ET): 9 a.m. to noon; game is at 4 p.m.
Location: Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, Iowa
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
To say this game is a big moment for Iowa State and head coach Matt Campbell would be an understatement.
Yes, the program has won eight games in back-to-back seasons and made a bowl game twice. Prior to that, the team last won at least eight games in 2000. But Campbell and Co. are winless in this series since 2014—the fact they took a bye week before this game says it all.
Iowa State's one game before the bye wasn't overly encouraging, though, as the Cyclones hardly escaped with a 29-26 win over the Northern Iowa Panthers out of the MVFC, needing three overtimes to win, 29-26.
There, Brock Purdy was solid under center, with 278 yards and two scores, and the ground game averaged 4.1 yards per carry, but the offense was overall less impactful than expected against a team that has upended the Cyclones three times at home since 2007.
That hasn't stopped the praise for Campbell from rolling in from the likes of Herbstreit.
"Matt Campbell is kind of an up-and-coming superstar," Herbstreit said on Andrew Doughty's High Motor podcast (h/t Randy Peterson of the Des Moines Register). "What you've watched him do at Iowa State—he's got a long ways to go there, but it feels like they've become the new Kansas State of the Big 12 (Conference)."
One of the biggest tests of Campbell's tenure will occur against Iowa, a team already clutching a 2-0 mark thanks to a 38-14 win over Miami (OH) and a 30-0 win over Rutgers.
Through two games, quarterback Nate Stanley has completed 63.8 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and no interceptions while only taking two sacks. The ground game behind him has averaged more than five yards per carry.
Over both contests, the Hawkeyes defense has held the opposition to less than 250 yards of total offense and forced four total turnovers. Perhaps the biggest red flag from those two contests was the Hawkeyes only going 2-of-13 on third downs against Rutgers, yet poking a hole in a 30-0 win is hard to do.
Iowa isn't a stranger to winning (eight or more wins and bowl appearances four years and running) or winning in this series. Yet according to Caesars, it is enough to only be favored by 2.5 points going into Saturday.
The 67th meeting between these two teams might be the most important to date, with the addition of College GameDay only further moving the needle in that direction.
But the odds remain close for a reason. Iowa State's offense is explosive, and there might not be anybody in the Big 12 who can cover Deshaunte Jones, owner of 14 catches already. Don't forget La'Michael Pettway, who has scored twice on three catches.
Even so, Iowa owns this series as of late for a reason, and while Campbell is a fun national story, the Hawkeyes have one of the better quarterbacks in the Big Ten with Stanley and yet another strong defense that has suffocated opponents so far.
Iowa State's start, the three-overtime affair, is too hard to ignore here, especially before jumping right into an early-season bye. The Cyclones are enjoyable to watch, but Iowa is too consistent to drop this one.
Prediction: Iowa 20, Iowa State 17