Hawkeye HQ predictions: Optimism in Iowa

Hawkeye Headquarters
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Iowa 24, Wyoming 3. It’s etched in brick, as you can see.

That’s how last year’s totally irrelevant prediction opened the season — my first with Hawkeye Headquarters and third overall doing this bit.

But being right really isn’t the point of my picks heading into its fourth incarnation.

That’s for everyone else below. The experts.

Mine are for entertainment purposes only. (When you’re using a 15-year-old game without updated rosters to simulate an outcome in 2018, what other choice is there?)

And yet, there it is…

A permanent addition to Kinnick Stadium, just like this one:

So what will 2018 bring? More ups and downs, no doubt. Hawkeye Headquarters reporter Adam Rossow already gave you his optimist’s outlook and pessimist’s picks, now he’ll give you his, along with Local 4 weekend sports anchor and Fox 18 Sports Sunday host Dan Vasko, Quad-City Times reporter Steve Batterson and Iowa’s all-time leading receptions leader Kevonte Martin-Manley.

Welcome to football season!

Celebrity prediction
The Hawkeyes’ all-time leader in receptions returns for second season of predictions.
Kevonte Martin-Manley: Iowa 28, Northern Illinois 7

Featured predictions
Hawkmania
Steve Batterson: 
Iowa 24, Northern Illinois 17
The Huskies’ all-American defensive end Sutton Smith will help keep things interesting against the inexperience of a short-handed Iowa offensive line, but Hawkeyes have enough playmakers to pull out a record-setting win for coach Kirk Ferentz in the season opener.

Hawkeye Headquarters
Adam Rossow: Iowa 21, Northern Illinois 17
Dan Vasko: Iowa 31, Northern Illinois 17 

National predictions
SBNation
Bill Connelly: Iowa 28, Northern Illinois 19

Athlon Sports
Steven Lassan: Iowa
Mitch Light: Iowa
Braden Gall: Iowa

Hawkeye State predictions

The Athletic
Scott Dochterman: Iowa 23, Northern Illinois 10

The Gazette
Marc Morehouse: Iowa 20, Northern Illinois 17 

Hawk Central
Chad Leistikow: Iowa 24, Northern Illinois 17 

All Hawkeyes
Pat Harty: Iowa 23, Northern Illinois 17

Black Heart Gold Pants
Jordan Hansen: Iowa 37, Northern Illinois 10
JPinIC: Iowa 38, Northern Illinois 17
Jordan Garretson: Iowa 31, Northern Illinois 13
Trez: Iowa 27, Northern Illinois 13
Hello Jerry: Iowa 24, Northern Illinois 10
Matt Cabel: Iowa 17, Northern Illinois 10
BoilerHawk: Iowa 20, Northern Illinois 13
Benjamin Ross: Iowa 21, Northern Illinois 17
Matt Reisener: Iowa 21, Northern Illinois 13

#IowaSim18 simulation
Cody Hills: Iowa 31, Northern Illinois 3

Irrelevant prediction
@Hawkologist

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 35, Northern Illinois 21. Iowa’s starting quarterback gets injured on the last play of a scoreless first quarter, but his backup promptly throws a 48-yard bomb to the 1 on the first play of the second. A plunge into the endzone is the first and last rushing touchdown. The tight ends take it from there. The half ends on a 9-play, 60-yard drive, including 6 passes for 46 yards to two tight ends to get the Hawks up two TDs after two. NIU gets it within a score late, but a 47-yard Iowa TD pass closes the scoring. 373 yards in three quarters from the backup QB, 107 yards receiving from the primary tight end and a touchdown each for two other TEs is the good news. But a dislocated elbow sidelining the starting QB for 11 weeks is not. Good thing we push reset on the game system every week — it’s irrelevant, remember? Oh yeah: Iowa 24, Wyoming 3.

Prognosis: It’s a season of optimism, but those don’t always work out for the Hawkeyes. Iowa likes to sneak up on the Big Ten. But it’s the first game of a new season and everything’s turning up Hawkeyes for now. All 23. No pain predicted on the scale of zero to Mr. T.

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

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