If you’ve watched some Iowa Hawkeyes football this year, them setting records for offensive futility should not surprise you. Now take away their starting quarterback in Spencer Petras, who is out with a bad shoulder for the Music City Bowl on Saturday at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.
Their opponent is the Kentucky Wildcats, not exactly a scoring juggernaut themselves, and they have their starting quarterback in Will Levis heading to the NFL. It’s simply a dream matchup ... if you like punting, negative plays, and likely plenty of turnovers as well.
And that’s why bookmakers have set the lowest total in the history of college football wagering for this game: The over/under is a mere 31 points. 31! And with how these teams have played all season, you’ll need just eight field goals and four safeties to hit that over.
But if you did choose to root for points, it’s not just the impotent offenses you’ll need to worry about on Saturday. The Hawkeyes have the No. 1 defense in America according to SP+. Sure it’s paired with the 120th best offense out of 131 teams, and their offensive coordinator might be the worst legacy hire in all of American sports.
Kentucky is very stout without the ball as well, bringing in the sixth-rated defense in FBS ... and the 94th-rated offense. It’s a recipe for punts, uncapitalized turnovers, and Cro-Magnon football so terrible Teddy Roosevelt might need to change the rules again.
Iowa scored 18 offensive touchdowns in 12 games this season, while Kentucky posted a relatively robust 31. Which somehow doesn’t sound that bad, except when you consider they had a consensus NFL first-round pick at quarterback in Levis!
How historically bad is this Iowa team with the ball? They’re so awful this isn’t their first time setting the total record for offensive futility this season! The previous record was the Iowa-Minnesota game all the way back on November 19, 2022. That game closed with a total of 31.5, and finished 13-10 in favor of the Hawkeyes on the road. Of course the under came in easily.
Freshman Joe Labas will start for Iowa at quarterback. He has never played a down of collegiate football, and 12 of his former teammates are either injured, in the transfer portal, or working out getting ready for the NFL Draft.
On the Kentucky side Levis joins 11 other Wildcats in skipping this one, so etiher Kaiya Sheron or Destin Wade will be the starter. Sheron lost earlier this season to South Carolina, where he was 15-of-27 for 178 yards. But the real harm is in the backfield, with running back Chris Rodriguez (904 yards, six TDs, heading to NFL) and Kavosiey Smoke 277 yards, 1 TD, transfer portal) are both unavailable.
And for the final ingredient of the recipe for having a game in the wagering era of college football with less expected points than any other: Iowa is 4-8 against the total this season ... and Kentucky is just 1-11! And yes that does put UK dead in hitting the over of any team in major college football.
This game could be a train wreck so bad you can’t help to watch. So follow the great Sickos Committee on Twitter for complete coverage, because it should be so terrible you won’t be able to look away.