Iowa-Wisconsin: Four Reasons the Hawkeyes Will Devour the Badgers

B.Senior Analyst IOctober 17, 2009

STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Adrian Clayborn #94 of the Iowa Hawkeyes celebrates a 21-10 victory over the Penn State Nittnay Lions on September 26, 2009 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Iowa heads into Camp Randall this week with almost everyone thinking they have about as much of a chance at survival as a candy bar in a fat camp.

Writers for USA Today , NBC Sports, and Fox Sports all predict a win for Wisconsin. Adam Rittenberg, ESPN's Big Ten Blogger, picks the Badgers to win 24-23.

The makers of spreads in Vegas favor the Badgers by two.

As if that wasn't enough, it seems roughly one-fourth of all Hawkeye fans predict defeat, as well.

It doesn't make any sense.

How can an undefeated team, ranked 11th in the country in the polls, and currently riding a 10-game win streak, be underdogs to an unranked and largely unproven team?

The Badgers are playing great football, that can't be denied. But it seems everyone loves to hate the Hawkeyes.

Before everyone hands Wisconsin the victory prior to kickoff, it is important to keep four things in mind.

1. The Clayborn Supremacy

Adrian Clayborn is the Jason Bourne of college football, even though his defensive lineman's body might not look the part.

Clayborn's sophomore year at Iowa is known as The Clayborn Identity. This is when he began to discover his true identity on the Iowa defense.

This season is The Clayborn Supremacy, and he is exacting his revenge upon college football for reasons only he knows.

Clayborn is terrorizing offensive lines like Jason Bourne tormented the CIA. Against Penn State, he recorded a punt block for a touchdown. Against Arkansas State, he recorded two sacks and a forced fumble. Last week, he gave Michigan's Tate Forcier a concussion.

If Adrian Clayborn turns out to be a cyborg from another planet, no one that has seen an Iowa game this year would be surprised. Wisconsin will have its hands full this week trying to protect Tolzien and Clay from The Clayborn.

The Clayborn Ultimatum comes to football fields next fall.

2. NEVER bet against a streak

Gambling experts all agree on this: Never bet against a streak. That's as true in college football as it is in politics, horse racing, or Baccarat.

Their advice is to either stop betting until the streak breaks or bet with the streak.

It sounds absurd, especially when factoring in that the odds of a streak continuing begin to double with each additional week the streak progresses. But this mantra exists because the goal of gambling is to increase your winnings and decrease your losings.

This is not an exact science, obviously, but the amount someone loses by betting either way is roughly the same. However, the amount you could possibly win by betting with the streak is much larger than possible betting against the streak.

Higher odds mean higher payouts.

This is common knowledge in Vegas. So, in theory, by favoring against the streak, Vegas minimizes their potential losses.

As a reminder, the Iowa Hawkeyes are currently riding a 10-game win streak.

3. Clay is not the best RB Iowa has seen this year

For those who haven't noticed, Iowa has gone up against some fairly good running backs already this year. Evan Royster, Nic Grigsby, and Brandon Minor just to name a few.

Looking at the rushing leaders by team, Iowa's opponents so far this year are among the top 35 rushing teams in the country. Iowa State is 14th, Michigan is 22nd, Arizona is 25th, and Penn State is 31st.

Wisconsin sits at 21st nationally on the list of rushing leaders by team. They sit atop the Big Ten with an average of just over 200 yards a game, just three yards more a game than Michigan and 11 more yards a game than Penn State.

The Badgers' top running back, sophomore John Clay, is having a great year, averaging 106 yards a game. Clay has 640 yards and seven touchdowns on the year.

Unfortunately for Wisconsin, Clay isn't the best running back Iowa has seen this year. That would be Iowa State's Alexander Robinson, who is averaging 108 yards a game and currently ranks as the 15th best running back in the country.

Clay is 17th; Nic Grigsby and Evan Royster are tied for 36th.

Iowa has had a lot of practice at containing the run this year. There is no doubt the Hawkeyes will have success containing Clay, too.

4. Tolzien is not the best QB Iowa has seen this year

Just like John Clay isn't the best running back Iowa has seen all year, Scott Tolzien is not the best quarterback the Hawkeyes have faced.

In terms of passing offense, that title belongs to Penn State's Daryll Clark. In terms of passer rating, that title belongs to Arizona's Nick Foles, followed closely by Daryll Clark.

Tolzien is off to a great start to his junior year, averaging 215 yards a game with nine touchdowns, and only five interceptions.

But Tolzien ranks behind Ricky Stanzi nationally in terms of passing offense. Until last week, Tolzien had yet to see a defense anywhere close to Iowa's.

Iowa has had a lot of practice at containing good passers this year. There is no doubt that the traveling interception show will continue this week for the Hawkeyes against Tolzien.

Iowa wins, 24-14.

Camp Randall is a tough place for any team to play, especially for a Wisconsin homecoming. Iowa will make a few mistakes in this game, but the Hawkeyes come into this game with a lot of confidence and this is Ricky Stanzi's game to shine.


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