Top 50 most important teams: No. 43, Iowa

Top 50 most important teams: No. 43, Iowa

No. 43: Iowa

Coach: Kirk Ferentz

2016 record: 8-5

Projected 2017 record: 9-3

Circle the date: Nov. 11 at Wisconsin

Bowl trip: Holiday

Why No. 43: Nathan Stanley is C.J. Beathard's likely replacement at quarterback. The best news is the return of tailback Akrum Wadley, who considered an early move to the NFL, and the offensive line will be a strength. Defensively, the top returning player is linebacker Josey Jewell. The nonconference schedule screams 3-0 start against Wyoming, Iowa State and North Texas. But Iowa has to host Penn State and Ohio State. Never easy.

Last year's ranking: No. 20

Previous rankings: No. 50, Western Kentucky; No. 49 Vanderbilt; No. 48 Syracuse; No. 47 Duke; No. 46 Memphis; No. 45 Arizona State; No. 44 ColoradoBob Asmussen

Matt Daniels

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