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  1. If you haven't been in the Husker Football subforum or don't really care how Nebraska could have done if the Huskers were in a different conference, I have been doing separate cluster analyses for each major conference, identifying the different types of teams within the conference as well as which type of team had success in the conference. In addition to that, I've also been looking at cluster versus cluster matches, looking at how each cluster played against the other. Now that I've completed the Big Ten, I would like to take a walk on the wild side and make a prediction for each team's record for the upcoming season. **A word of warning: These predictions, like any other prediction are based off assumptions. For this one, I'm assuming (1) there will be no injuries/suspensions to the team's starting offense or defense and (2) each team will closely follow their prior season's (2012) trends.** That set aside, here is my season preview for the teams in the Legends Division: Iowa Hawkeyes Last Season: The 2012 season was a rough one for Kirk Ferentz's Hawkeyes, as they went 2-6 in Big Ten play. Defensively, there wasn't much to complain about, as the Hawkeyes boasted above average rushing and passing defenses. While they didn't force many turnovers, they did force an above average amount. The problem last year's team faced was on the offensive side of the ball. Returning QB James Vandenberg was supposed to deliver a big passing season for the Hawkeyes, but when the season was all said and done, Iowa was nothing more than mediocre when it came to the passing game. To make things worse, a much maligned corp of running backs struggled to generate a lot on the ground. Mark Weisman did provide a bright spot; but it was too little too late for the Hawkeyes. Where the focus should be: To return to success, Iowa must keep doing the same thing on defense. They must continue to shut down opposing offenses. On the offensive side, Iowa should shift their focus to developing a steady running attack, especially with the departure of Vandenberg bringing in a new QB. Successful teams in the Big Ten run the ball more and run it more effectively. That doesn't mean shy away from the passing game, because Kevonte Martin-Manley needs to be utilized as well. Throw the ball less. Run the ball more. Run to set up the pass; and whenever you do pass, that first target should be Martin-Manley. Changes in the 2013 opponents: The new additions to the 2013 conference schedule do not do any favors for the Hawkeyes. Instead of playing Indiana, a team they should beat more than lose to, and Purdue, a team they should beat about an equal amount of times as they lose to, they get Ohio State and Wisconsin. According to like teams' performance against the Buckeyes and the Badgers, Iowa should have a better chance to beat Wisconsin than Ohio State, but the chance is small. The 2013 conference schedule and predicted result: @ Minnesota--WIN: Minnesota and Iowa are from the same cluster; I however, see Iowa making more improvements towards becoming a successful Big Ten offense than Minnesota. It'll be close, but I think the Hawkeyes win this game. vs. Michigan State--LOSS: Having a new QB is going to cost the Hawkeyes in this game. Michigan State, already a good passing defense will make it very difficult for Iowa to move the ball. This will allow Sparty to cue in on the run game and shut that down. Michigan State, if it tries to develop into a passing first team like I think they will with the departure of Le'Veon Bell, they will struggle against everyone besides Illinois and Indiana. It'll be low scoring, but in the end I think Michigan State has too much talent. @ Ohio State--LOSS: Not even close, the Bucks will be too much for Iowa in this game. vs. Northwestern--LOSS: Closer than the game versus the Buckeyes, but Northwestern will still be too much for the Hawkeyes to handle in this game. vs Wisconsin--LOSS: This game will be an interesting one, as whoever has had the home field has always seemed to win. Wisconsin will be featuring a new coaching staff, but I don't think they'll stray away from their running game with James White and Melvin Gordon providing two very good threats to opposing run defenses. Iowa will have some success running the ball on their own, so I think whoever has more success passing, of which Wisconsin has the better personnel will win this game. @ Purdue--WIN: Purdue also has a new coaching staff, so it's hard to tell, especially with where they have their talent, what they'll do in terms of offense. It'll be a close game as no matter what Purdue does Iowa will be ready for it. In the end I think Iowa manages to take this game from the Boilermakers. vs. Michigan--LOSS: This won't be close, Michigan will be too much for Iowa. @ Nebraska--LOSS: While Nebraska's porous at times run defense sets up well for Iowa, the Hawkeyes will have to score in heaps (and by heaps I mean at least 28 points) to keep up with Nebraska's offense, which will be slowed a little by Iowa's defense, but not to the tune of the weather induced 13 points surrendered last year, nor the 20 points the year before. Final Record: 2-6: It looks like another slow season for Iowa, who will need to go 4-0 in non-conference play to have a chance to make a bowl game. Best Chance of an Upset: Wisconsin: Iowa's defense will be more than ready to handle the Badgers's offense. It'll be a question of whether Iowa's offense can move the ball enough to give them the chance to win.
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