Iowa. Purdue. Black and gold. Gold and black. Our Most Hated Rival (emphasis mine). This is “the protected rivalry,” a holdover from a time when Legends and Leaders dominated the Big Ten. It’s the Padres-Mariners interleague matchup of B1G clashes. So the sarcasm runs wild and confusion reigns. And rightfully so.

There is no heated history. Some uniform similarities sometimes. No trophy, although former colleagues of mine suggested a random stick painted gold. (But which gold would it be?!) 

See how that devolves quickly into absurdity? 

About the nastiest it ever got at the peak of the protected rivalry was when BTN showed the dad of a Purdue quarterback 100 times (conservative estimate) despite the fact his son threw for only 95 yards and 2 interceptions and the Hawkeyes won 31-21. Gotta stick to the narrative sometimes, I guess. 

This year, these two Big Ten West teams have nothing to play for but better bowl bids, thanks to Iowa’s loss to Wisconsin last week. So let’s get to the picks. 

Celebrity prediction
For the first time this year, we have a celebrity prediction to add to our experts. And we’re starting at the top with Iowa’s all-time career receptions leader Kevonte Martin-Manley (174). He’s also the first Big Ten Conference player to return back-to-back punts for touchdowns. All this from a 2-star recruit, a label he’s used for motivation throughout his career and to start a clothing line after graduation. Martin-Manley’s motto is “Earn the 5th,” and we’re thrilled to have him contribute to Hawkeye Headquarters as our first celebrity predictor.
Kevonte Martin-Manley: Iowa 44, Purdue 10.

Featured predictions

Steve Batterson: Iowa 24, Purdue 17
The Boilermakers haven’t given up more than two touchdowns to an opponent in their last six games. That ends against Iowa although it may take four quarters to get there. With less-than-ideal conditions expected, the Hawkeyes’ edge could come on the ground with a rushing attack that was limited to 25 yards on 26 carries last season. Expect Akrum Wadley and James Butler to lead Iowa toward a seventh win against an improving Purdue team which faces a must-win situation if it hopes to reach a bowl in coach Jeff Brohm’s first season.

Hawkeye Headquarters
Adam Rossow: Iowa 24, Purdue 13 
This isn’t the same Purdue program that won just nine games the past four seasons combined. First-year coach Jeff Brohm has instilled confidence on both sides of the ball, giving the Boilermakers the chance to become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2012. 

The Hawkeyes’ senior-laden defense will come to play on Saturday — it has in every game except Iowa State. Iowa’s offensive production and ability to sustain drives will ultimately determine the outcome. 

I think the Hawkeyes and Nate Stanley do enough through the air — yes, through the air — to win and keep the Boilers out of a bowl game for a fifth-straight year. 

Dan Vasko: Iowa 27, Purdue 13

National predictions

Bill Connelly: Iowa 23.9, Purdue 23.6 (Editor’s note: Good luck with that one.)

Athlon Sports
Steven Lassan: Iowa
Mitch Light: Iowa
Bryan Fischer: Iowa

Mitch Sherman: Iowa 31, Purdue 21 

Hawkeye State predictions
Land of 10

Scott Dochterman: Iowa 30, Purdue 16 
Bobby La Gesse: Iowa 27, Purdue 13 

The Gazette
Marc Morehouse: Iowa 17, Purdue 13 

Hawk Central
Chad Leistikow: Iowa 45, Purdue 14 

Go Iowa Awesome
Mark Hasty: Iowa 24, Purdue 20 

Pat Harty: Iowa 29, Purdue 19 
Tyler Devine: Iowa 31, Purdue 17 
Dylan Burn: Iowa 30 Purdue 28 

Hawkeye Nation
Jon Miller: Iowa 
Sean Neugent: Iowa 23, Purdue 10
David Schwartz: Iowa
Mitch Smith: Iowa  

Hawkeye Report
Mike Zierath: Iowa 24, Purdue 17 
Tom Kakert: Iowa 31, Purdue 21 
Blair Sanderson: Iowa 24, Purdue 17 
Torbee: Iowa 31, Purdue 13
RDietz: Iowa 28, Purdue 27  
Lyle Hammes: Iowa 27, Purdue 20 
Matt Randazzo: Iowa 27, Purdue 17 

Rob Donaldson: Iowa 

Irrelevant prediction
And finally, the totally irrelevant prediction based on playing EA Sports’ NCAA Football 2004 on a PS2, as is the tradition since 2015:

Ryan Jaster: Hawkeyes 10, Purdue 7. The offense stays offensive, but gets enough done to make the defense’s strong effort hold up. The run game was stifled and Iowa completed only 5 passes, but two were long connections (39 and 31 yards) on third down that led to the only two scores. (In their only two trips to the red zone. 100 percent success, but… ugh.) With a chance to put the game away inside the 30, Iowa fumbled five yards backward and Purdue had a clear path to the endzone. In this case, art did not imitate life, because two Boilermakers dove on the ball instead of trying to scoop and run. One play later — the Hawkeyes’ sixth sack of the day — the game was over. Too close, but typical.

Prognosis: People are down on the Hawkeyes after last week’s debacle, but not enough to give Purdue a chance. The scores above are probably closer than they would have been predicted after the Ohio State game, but the experts still are confident the Hawkeyes can beat an inferior B1G opponent at home in fairly painless fashion. 

For more Hawkeye football coverage, follow @AdamJRossow and @HawkeyeHQ on Twitter — and now Facebook — and Hawkeye Headquarters on all season.