Hawkeyes No. 20 in preseason AP poll

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Iowa running back James Butler #20 rushes up field against linebacker Colton McDonald #41 of the North Texas Mean Green on September 16, 2017 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

The media views the Hawkeyes just a notch below the coaches and a cut above Iowa State, ranking Iowa at No. 20 in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 released Monday.

The Hawkeyes received 330 points from the panel of 62 sports writers and broadcasters. The Cyclones sit at No. 21 with 302.

Iowa was ranked No. 19 in the Amway Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports and ended the 2018 season at No. 25 in the AP poll after a win over Mississippi State in the Outback Bowl.

Like the coaches poll, the Big Ten has seven teams in the Top 25 — the most of any conference — but the AP flips Nebraska for Northwestern.

No. 5 Ohio State and No. 7 Michigan lead the way for the B1G. Iowa plays at the Big House on October 5, with No. 15 Penn State (October 12), No. 19 Wisconsin (November 9) and No. 24 Nebraska (November 29) also on the schedule. No. 18 Michigan State is also ranked, but as we said when the coaches poll was released, the Hawkeyes won’t play the Spartans unless we get a rematch of the 2015 Big Ten Football Championship Game.

Iowa also travels to No. 21 Iowa State on September 24.

Clemson, the defending national champion, is the preseason No. 1 for the first time, receiving 1,540 points compared to 1,496 for No. 2 Alabama.

Local AP voter Steve Batterson of the Quad-City Times and Hawkmania had the Hawkeyes at No. 20. You can see his ballot here and the entire AP Top 25 here.

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