In 2015, Michigan State beat an undefeated Iowa squad in the Big Ten Championship to advance to the College Football Playoff. Iowa would go on to lose to Stanford in the Rose Bowl. Michigan State got shut out by Alabama in the Cotton Bowl.
After Iowa lost to Michigan State and then Stanford, many counted them out once again and called them overrated. Perhaps they’re the wrong team being marked as overrated.
Iowa is a Better Team Than Michigan State
Michigan State got to the Big Ten Championship Game after Michigan punter Blake O’ Neil fumbled the snap on a punt in the closing seconds of their in-state rivalry game. Michigan State recovered the fumble and returned it to the end zone to give them the win.
So for those saying that Iowa is overrated and Michigan State is a much better team than the Hawkeyes, look back at how Sparty got to the College Football Playoff – a fumbled snap on a punt. Iowa may have gotten dominated by Stanford in the Rose Bowl, but they went up against Christian McCaffery, who was a Heisman favorite last season and is again this season.
While one may make the case that Michigan State went up against the top defense in the nation in Alabama, but their offense led by quarterback Connor Cook could not score a single point.
Iowa is Not Overrated
This past weekend, Iowa lost to North Dakota State and the sports world went crazy. Many said that this proved that Iowa was an overrated team. What they don’t realize is that North Dakota State is a five-time repeating FCS National Champion. Not only that, but NDSU has won six straight games against FBS opponents. It’s not fair to count out Iowa in being on of those teams.
In their first two games, Iowa forced four turnovers, and outscored Miami (OH) and in-state rival Iowa State 87-24. Also, in their opener against Miami (OH), they rushed for 212 yards on just 29 rushing attempts. On defense, the Hawkeyes only allowed 158 rushing yards on 41 attempts.
Against Iowa State, the Hawkeyes outnumbered the Cyclones in total yards 435-291.
Michigan State is Overrated
As far as Michigan State goes, they almost blew a 36-7 lead over a Notre Dame that has depleted over the course of the season. Notre Dame started the season as the #10 team in the country.
After a loss to Texas in Week 1, they fell to number 18. They’ve since lost to Duke at home. The Fighting Irish were a 21-point favorite in that game. In retrospect, Michigan State almost blew a 36-7 lead over a team that lost to a 21-point underdog.
Last weekend, the Spartans lost to a Wisconsin team that was almost upset by Georgia State the week before. Not only did Michigan State lose that game, but Wisconsin dominated them in East Lansing.
Even in their opener against Furman University, they committed more turnovers than Furman did.
Iowa may not beat the Spartans in a rematch of the Big Ten Championship Game, but they are the better team overall between the two.