In first place in the Big Ten West with just one more game to play — against Nebraska on Friday — the Hawkeyes are possibly the most surprising undefeated college football team of the season after finishing 4–4 in conference in 2014.
In this week’s issue, SI’s Albert Chen takes a look at the college football programs that, while in the national championship calculus, are generally not take seriously as title considers, specifically Iowa, Florida and Michigan State. All three programs essentially control their own destiny.
The following locations will receive the Iowa cover: Missouri, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota.
Newton and the Panthers, who share Iowa’s undefeated record, are featured on the national cover that will be delivered to the following locations: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington D.C., Maryland, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, California, Utah, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii.
Also featured in this issue is a breakdown of how the Denver Broncos’ defense can prevent the New England Patriots from going 16–0, a feature on the Carolina Panthers’ polarizing quarterback Cam Newton, and a profile on recently crowned UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm.