For the past two weeks, the Cardiac Hill staff were unanimous in picking Pitt to win both games. This week, we will get some separation in the rankings as the staff is somewhat split on the results for this week.
Personally, I picked Pitt to win. I think the main difference between the two teams right now is there is a lot more known about Iowa than Pitt. Iowa has a good, well-known starter at QB, an always respected offensive line, and a decent defense. Pitt has obviously a lot more questions surrounding the team at various positions but the main one being at quarterback. I think this is probably the main reason many in the national media and the betting circuits have picked Iowa to win. Iowa didn't completely blow out their FCS opponent Illinois State, and had a fairly tight game till the end with Iowa State who has been less than successful on the field in recent years.
As for Pitt, I get the strong feeling that Narduzzi and his staff have really held back on some of the things they've done in games. Narduzzi seemed to confirm as much when he said he intimated to his team that the "preseason was over" after Pitt's first two games. I think Narduzzi and his staff had plans to try a lot of personnel and keep the playbook conservative. This should mean the playbook is opened significantly tomorrow night. Iowa has a couple of injuries at various spots, and Pitt should be relatively healthy going into the game getting Chris James and Adam Bisnowaty back on the field.
Honestly, I think either way this will be a close game. I haven't seen anything from Iowa that made me go "oh, boy", but I haven't seen anything to get me too excited from Pitt. I think this game will give a pretty good indication of what this team is capable of. Teams can always get better (or worse) over a season, but losing to Iowa last year gave a pretty early indication of how the year was gonna go. This is definitely more of a feel pick than a tangible thing I can point to. Hopefully I'm right?