Iowa Hawkeyes slide in USA TODAY Sports' 1-131 re-rank, upcoming Fighting Illini soar – Hawkeyes Wire

After a loss at the hands of the Michigan Wolverines, the Iowa Hawkeyes are currently 3-2 on the season, but just 1-1 in conference play. That record is good enough to provide them with as good of a chance as anyone else in the chase for the Big Ten West crown.
One of those teams chasing the crown is the Illinois Fighting Illini who are ahead of schedule on their rebuild and find themselves at 4-1 after beating the Wisconsin Badgers bad enough to get their head coach fired.
That said, the two schools are ranked right near each other in the most recent version of the USA TODAY Sports’ 1-131 re-rank. Even though closely ranked, the two teams saw themselves moving in opposite directions. The Hawkeyes come in at No. 50, a 10-spot slide from last week. The Illini sit at No. 45, a 21-spot climb from their previous ranking.
Iowa is looking to get back on track defensively after Michigan proved to be a true playoff-caliber contender and a top team in the nation. The Illini are looking to get back to relevancy under head coach Bret Bielema with their ruthless ground game and defense that is nearly just as good as Iowa’s.
The 6:30 p.m. CT kickoff this Saturday will be smash mouth football with both teams trying to establish the run and stout defenses holding strong. This game will come down to the trenches in all likelihood and sets up a dream viewing for those Big Ten traditionalists.
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