The national spotlight has left the Hawkeyes. Not only did ESPN’s College GameDay pass on Iowa City next week for New York City — New York City?! — but most of the national experts passed on picking Iowa vs. North Texas.

Week 1 many liked Wyoming as a sleeper. Week 2 had a trophy on the line. But a rematch of a contest decided by 46 points just two years ago is decidedly not sexy in the eyes of mainstream prognosticators. Not so for us in the B1G footprint, though.

Featured predictions

Steve Batterson: Iowa 34, North Texas 17
Don’t expect the Hawkeyes to have to sweat this one out on a hot mid-September day at Kinnick. Iowa should be able to give workhorse Akrum Wadley a bit of a breather, leading to a big day for James Butler and Toren Young. North Texas and its air-raid offense will present challenges. Sophomore Mason Fine threw for a career-high 424 yards last week and runs an offense which has averaged 580.5 yards during the Mean Green’s 1-1 start. Quality receivers and a running back in Jeffery Wilson who averages 8.5 yards per carry have the attention of the Iowa defense.

Hawkeye Headquarters
Adam Rossow: Iowa 42, North Texas 17
Dan Vasko: Iowa 42, North Texas 14

Here are Adam and Dan with more from the Local 4 studio:

National predictions

Bill Connelly: Iowa 34, North Texas 17

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

Dan Murphy: Iowa
Mitch Sherman: Iowa
Tom VanHaaren: Iowa

Hawkeye State predictions
Land of 10
Scott Dochterman: Iowa 48, North Texas 24 
Bobby La Gesse: Iowa 45, North Texas 20 

The Gazette
Marc Morehouse: Iowa 41, North Texas 10

Hawk Central
Chad Leistikow: Iowa 44, North Texas 14 

Go Iowa Awesome
Mark Hasty: Iowa 44, North Texas 20. 

Pat Harty: Iowa 38, North Texas 21
Tyler Devine: Iowa 42, North Texas 14
Dylan Burn: Iowa 45, North Texas 20

Hawkeye Nation
Rob Howe: Iowa
Jon Miller: Iowa
Sean Neugent: Iowa 47, North Texas 16
Mitch Smith: Iowa
David Schwartz: Iowa

Hawkeye Report
Mike Zierath: Iowa 45, North Texas 21  
Tom Kakert: Iowa 45, North Texas 17
Blair Sanderson: Iowa 42, North Texas 24
RDietz: Iowa 34, North Texas 14
Tory Brecht: Iowa 45, North Texas 13 
Lyle Hammes: Iowa 34, North Texas 14
John Kerth: Iowa 45, North Texas 17
Matt Randazzo: Iowa 45, North Texas 17

Max Brekke: Iowa 41, North Texas 24
BoilerHawk: Iowa 38, North Texas 10
JP Scott: Iowa 38, North Texas 10
JPinIC: Iowa 45, North Texas 10
Hello Jerry: Iowa 30, North Texas 10
Matt Cabel: Iowa 42, North Texas 14
Benjamin Ross: Iowa 45, North Texas 3
Jordan Hansen: Iowa 38, North Texas 10


Cody Hills: Iowa 38, North Texas 10

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 20, North Texas 10. The North Texas defense found a way to shut down everything the Iowa offense tried until the tight ends were fed repeatedly in the fourth quarter. Safe to say there could be a matchup problem IRL as well. Two years ago, a 62-16 Iowa rout of the Mean Green Eagles somehow inspired this “In Heaven There Is No Beer” emoji tweet:

Perhaps I had a little too much time to think in a game like that, but people seemed to like it and it’s been a tradition for every win since. And thankfully there have been many. This week should be another one.

Prognosis: No one’s picking North Texas. Not one bold soul (or simulation). Sometimes, that’s a red flag, like when the 0-9 Indianapolis Colts upset the 8-2 Green Bay Packers in 1997 during my first trip to Las Vegas. (Picked ’em in work pick ’em, but not at the sports book.) It’s the No. 1 rule when you bet: In order to survive, you’ve got to learn to live with regrets. But nobody will be wishing they picked against the Hawkeyes on Saturday. All that adds up to the first wide smile of the year. No pain predicted this week.