It’s a night game at Kinnick against a once-defeated, 18th-ranked Wisconsin team. It’s also September. And as we told you in July, that’s early for such a big game. In fact, it’s only the second time the Hawkeyes and Badgers have met in the month.

With the hype comes the spotlight, so a lot more national experts are out there picking this game this week. Not ESPN, though. They’re predicting FAU-UCF among what they are calling “Week 4’s biggest games.” Remember that the next time you’re having visions of College GameDay coming to Iowa City. FAU moved from an NFL stadium to a high school field while I worked in Fort Lauderdale. That was later in the same year Iowa went to its first Orange Bowl, but it’s nice the Owls have such a high profile now … according to ESPN.

Of course, Iowa-Wisconsin airs nationally on Fox Sports, which you can find in the Quad Cities on Fox 18 KLJB. But that couldn’t be a factor in what’s best, could it? Because by any measure this is one of the top games of the week, as the Hawkeyes linger just outside the AP Poll at No. 26.

Let’s get to the selection show.

Celebrity prediction
The Hawkeyes’ all-time leader in receptions returns for a second season of picks.
Kevonte Martin-Manley: Iowa 21, Wisconsin 7

Featured predictions
Steve Batterson: Iowa 16, Wisconsin 13
Playing a hunch here as much as anything. Both teams have plenty of play for this week in what promises to be one of the most physical games of the season for Iowa. Under the lights at Kinnick where good things have happened for the Hawkeyes in six of the last seven night games, expect the Hawkeyes to get a Miguel Recinos leg up on the field in the Big Ten West.

Hawkeye Headquarters
Adam Rossow: Iowa 17, Wisconsin 15
Dan Vasko: Iowa 20, Wisconsin 17

National predictions
Bill Connelly: Wisconsin 25, Iowa 19

Athlon Sports
Steven Lassan: Wisconsin
Mitch Light: Iowa 

Sports Illustrated
Scooby Axson: Wisconsin
Andy Staples: Iowa
Laken Litman: Wisconsin
Ross Dellenger: Wisconsin
Eric Single: Iowa
Max Meyer: Wisconsin
Molly Geary: Wisconsin
Joan Niesen: Wisconsin

Bleacher Report
Matt Hayes: Wisconsin
David Kenyon: Iowa
Adam Kramer: Iowa 17, Wisconsin 10
Kerry Miller: Iowa 17, Wisconsin 13
Brad Shepard: Wisconsin 27, Iowa 17
Ian Wharton: Wisconsin

The Athletic
  Stewart Mandel: Iowa 19, Wisconsin 16 
Bruce Feldman: Wisconsin 20, Iowa 14

CBS Sports
Ben Kercheval: Iowa

Hawkeye State predictions
The Athletic
Scott Dochterman: Iowa 17, Wisconsin 13

The Gazette
Marc Morehouse: Wisconsin 27, Iowa 21

Hawk Central
Chad Leistikow: Wisconsin 24, Iowa 19

Go Iowa Awesome
RossWB: Iowa 16, Wisconsin 13

All Hawkeyes
Pat Harty: Iowa 20, Wisconsin 16

Black Heart Gold Pants
Max Brekke: Iowa 17, Wisconsin 10
Jordan Hansen: Wisconsin 17, Iowa 13
JPinIC: Wisconsin 17, Iowa 13
Hello Jerry: Iowa 27, Wisconsin 17
Trez: Iowa 24, Wisconsin 20
Matt Cabel: Iowa 17, Wisconsin 7
BoilerHawk: Iowa 13, Wisconsin 12
Benjamin Ross: Iowa 24, Wisconsin 10
Matt Reisener: Wisconsin 17, Iowa 14

#IowaSim18 simulation
Cody Hills: Iowa 22, Wisconsin 18

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 9, Wisconsin 0. A missed 44-yard field goal on its first drive is Wisconsin’s best chance to score as 20 MPH crosswinds wreak havoc. Neither team gets to 100 passing yards and, despite breaking a few long runs, Iowa never reaches the endzone. In fact, only the Hawkeyes reach the red zone — once. Iowa drills a 48-yard field goal with 1:04 left in the half, then adds a 42-yarder in the 3rd, immediately followed by a huge 3-and-out that kept the field position game in its favor the rest of the way. A 26-yard field goal in the final minute ices it. No turnovers, just a game played between the 20s until the final drive.

Prognosis: It’s one of the most evenly matched rivalries in history. Just a few seasons ago — during the two-year hiatus when Legends and Leaders kept them apart — it sat tied (with two ties). But not anymore. It’s a bit lopsided in the Badgers’ favor, so that means the Hawkeyes are due. The picks reflect that, likely with an edge to Iowa for home-field and night-time advantage. But for the first time this season there’s real doubt. And some pain predicted.