three things about the Hawkeyes

1. Sure, dream big

Why not Iowa? The Hawkeyes are favored by 12 points against the Gophers, will be big favorites next week at home against Purdue and then travel to 4-6 Nebraska. All winnable games for the No. 5 team in the College Football Playoff rankings. If they win their remaining three, they would most likely get big, bad Ohio State in the Big Ten title game.

2. He's a winner

QB C.J. Beathard has never lost as Iowa's starter: 10-0. He's not a statistical wizard — he ranks between fifth and seventh in the Big Ten in key QB measures — but he takes care of the football (three interceptions). Most recently, he led two touchdown drives last week in the fourth quarter at Indiana. He had 271 total yards against the Hoosiers.

3. Betting big on balance

Despite being No. 5 in the College Football Playoff poll, Iowa leads the Big Ten in … pretty much nothing. The key exception: turnover margin. The Hawkeyes have 20 takeaways, led by Desmond King's league-best eight interceptions. Otherwise, the Hawkeyes are not at the top but top 5 in just about every measure.

Staff reports