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When you look back and see just how Iowa went 12-0 in the 2015 college football regular-season, you have to start with close games.
Every coach will tell you that you must win the close games to have a great season. Iowa did, getting five wins in games determined by one score (eight points or less).
The only other FBS team to go 5-0 in one-score games was Northwestern, which peeled off four straight immediately after getting walloped 40-10 at home by the Hawkeyes.
Oklahoma State was 4-0 in games decided by one score. Clemson, the only other 12-0 regular-season team, won three of them.
A breakdown of Iowa’s:
Pittsburgh, W 30-27: Marshall Koehn made a 57-yard field goal with no time remaining.
At Wisconsin, W 10-6: The Badgers fumbled the ball away at the Iowa 4 on their next-to-last possession, then were stopped on downs at the Iowa 16 on their last drive.
At Indiana, W 35-27: The Hoosiers scored to cut their deficit to eight points, but failed to recover an onside kick with 2:24 left.
Minnesota, W 40-35: The Gophers pulled within one score with 1:16 remaining, but their subsequent onside kick went out of bounds.
At Nebraska, W 28-20: The Huskers kicked a field goal with 1:17 left, but their following onside kick was covered by Iowa’s Henry Krieger Coble.
Of course, Iowa lost a one-score game in the Big Ten championship, 16-13 to Michigan State. The Spartans were 5-1 in one-score games during the regular-season. Here are the one-score regular-season records of Power Five conference teams. Conference-title games and bowl games are not included.
Michigan State 5-1
Ohio State 2-1
Penn State 2-1
Oklahoma State 4-0
Kansas State 3-2
Texas Tech 1-2
West Virginia 1-2
Iowa State 0-3
Texas A&M 2-0
Mississippi State 2-1
South Carolina 1-5
Washington State 3-3
Oregon State 0-1
Arizona State 0-2
North Carolina 3-1
Florida State 2-1
Virginia Tech 2-4
Wake Forest 2-4
Boston College 1-5
Georgia Tech 1-6
N.C. State 0-1
Notre Dame 4-2
Boise State 1-2