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B1G 2021, Iowa Potluck #4: Pizza and Predictions

No, Iowans, you don’t have to leave the state. Since you’ve fused with your couch, we’ll bring the food to you.

Quad Cities-Style Pizza Photo by Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post via Getty Images

So...mostly a week of expansion talk.

Not ideal, I guess, since it’s Iowa Week, and they’ve made a career out of basically staying in one place until it’s absolutely necessary to leave the state of Iowa.

Instead, over the last 200 years, people have brought culture to the Hawkeye State, gifting the state’s winched-out-of-the-bathtub populace with food and culture to allow them to pretend their existence matters.

That includes Italians. (There’s your transition.)

The Food: How to spice up pizza in Iowa?

I (re-)learned recently that Quad Cities pizza is a thing:

Quad City-style pizza is a unique pizza style[1] that centers around the Quad Cities region of Iowa and Illinois in the United States. Characteristics of this style of pizza include:[2]

1. malt in the crust
2. tomato sauce sometimes made with cayenne and red chili flakes
3. toppings placed under the cheese, and
4. strips being cut instead of slices.

Imagine thinking a tiny bit of spice would actually change this pizza up.

It is, nonetheless, notably different when you eat it (QC Pizza in South Minneapolis does a decent one), though it’s still basically pizza.

So, writers:

  1. Would you/have you do Quad Cities pizza? Your thoughts on the style?
  2. Are there any regional spins your locality puts on pizza? Tell us for like the 15th time in a Potluck in the last 4 years.

Beez: (1) Toppings under the cheese instead of on top is intriguing, and 5 years ago me would have enjoy the spicy sauce for sure, but current me would likely pass on “we put heat in our sauce just cuz.” Don’t age, folks.

(2) NC doesn’t do anything fancy with pizza, so far as I can tell. I miss Rocky Rococo’s in Wisconsin more often than I’d care to admit, but part of me wonders whether it would be one of those “oh remember how awesome this thing was when you were younger?!?” followed by “oh this is not nearly as good as I remember.” If a loyal reader would please go sample some RR and get back to me, I’d be quite appreciative.

RockyMtnBlue: There’s not much pizza I wouldn’t try, so I’d certainly give it a shot. I think toppings under the cheese is pretty much distinction without a difference. In general, though, I don’t prefer heat in pizza toppings, so I probably wouldn’t like it in the sauce. It overshadows the other flavors in the pizza. That’s a not a feature. That’s a bug.

I haven’t found anything special about pizza in Denver. Original Pizza in Louisville is legitimately excellent New York style pizza (it’s run by an old, Italian couple who bicker all the time. It’s fun). Otherwise there’s a lot of good, but undistinguished, hand-tossed pizza here. There’s no place I feel visitors have to experience.


  1. I honestly can’t remember every having this, though I would definitely try it. I do prefer toppings under the pizza and a little bit of spice. Malt in the dough sounds a little odd, but sure.
  2. Mabe’s Pizza is my favorite pizza from college and it’s more of a Tavern Style.


1) Sure, I’d try it. I put the toppings under the cheese when I make homemade pizza, so what’s the worst thing that could happen?

2) Red’s Savoy. It’s pizza elite!

MNW: It’s good! QC Pizza, in particular, was very good!

The crust is a little weird and something to get over, but the sauce, toppings, and cheese are just fine—it’s almost like eating a meatier version of TopperStix with some good sauce on there.

Minnesota-style, as we like to think we invented, is just the same thin-crust, square-cut pizza you can get in Chicago or Wisconsin or wherever else. Nonetheless, it is Very Good! Go to Turitto’s in Inver Grove Heights—it’s the one across Concord from the King of Diamonds (if you’re in the mood for Minnesota’s only full-liquor, full-nudity strip club), and it serves the best pizza I’ve had in the Metro.


Best regional variant on the pizza?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Quad Cities-style
    (11 votes)
  • 16%
    Minnesota/Wisconsin/Chicago’s tavern-style
    (22 votes)
  • 25%
    Chicago pizza hotdish
    (33 votes)
  • 0%
    St. Louis’s Provel abomination
    (1 vote)
  • 18%
    Detroit-style pan stuff
    (24 votes)
  • 0%
    New Jersey’s tomato pie thing
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    The Ohio nonsense where they add the toppings after it’s cooked or whatever
    (1 vote)
  • 3%
    That Connecticut apizza thing
    (5 votes)
  • 14%
    Only a real New York slice for me
    (19 votes)
  • 10%
    You’ve forgotten the clear best from my hometown, how dare you
    (14 votes)
131 votes total Vote Now

The Football:

I mean, if there was a way to spice this up, I would...

...but Iowa’s schedule pretty much is what it is in the Year of Our Lord 2021.

Home or road game against Iowa State, a MACrifice—this year in the form of Kent State—and some other G5er, who this year is Colorado State of the Mountain West. Ho hum.

Iowa fan retort: That’s not fair! Sometimes we play Northern Iowa!

Things get a little spicier in the conference, though, as Iowa will raise the curtain on the reason by hosting Big Ten East runner-up contender Indiana in an afternoon tilt on BTN, take a goofy Friday night trip to College Park for the Maryland, and host Indiana’s competition Penn State to close the first half of the season.

Toss in a garden variety West schedule, and we could be talking about the Hawks having locked things up by mid-November if they hold serve, then beat their divisional competitors in wisconsin and Northwestern—though back-to-back road games are nothing to sneeze at there.

Iowa fan, smugly: Well, yeah, but sometimes we bring a LOT of people to watch us lose at Ryan Field, so...there!

And yes, we are then glossing over Illinois, Minnesota, and Nebraska, teams Iowa has beaten seven, six, and six times in a row, respectively. Start carrying your weight, schmucks.

It’s all set up for another 9-3 (6-3) style season, though, reaching some greater heights if the Hawks can find a way to shake their Purdue demons, take care of their East counterparts at home, or kick the habits of losing to wisconsin or Northwestern.

So tell me, writers:

  1. How does Iowa finish in the 2021 season? Show your work.
  2. There’s no second question. This shit is so damn boring that you can just tell me how long you think Kirk Ferentz stays at Iowa.

Beez: (1) Losses to Iowa State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Northwestern, and one of the Minnesota/Illinois/Nebraska garbage pile. So my answer is however many wins - 5.

(2) Only two things will get Kirk out of Iowa. The first is him deciding he’s done. The second would be a repeat of the Chris Doyle/letting your trash ass son try to run players out of town, but this time where Iowa and its fanbase actually give a shit about, you know, holding Kirk accountable for something.


  1. Alright I’ll say 10-2 (7-2) because I’m a homer. With losses to... let’s say Indiana and wisconsin. Indiana because there’s absolutely no way Iowa is going to be ready for an opening game against a real opponent. And wisconsin because life is pain.
  2. A few years back and I would have pegged this season as one that might be likely as his last season. He’s made previous rumblings about not wanting to coach past 70 and become like Bowden or JoePa, and he’s just about 66 now, but he’s also said how he’s still feeling great and loves coaching, so....I dunno, let’s say after 2023.

RockyMtnBlue: Drawing the 2nd and 3rd best teams as crossovers isn’t ideal, but Iowa gets them both at home. Most teams get better through the season, but Iowa is the poster-program for this. Having all three crossover games as conference games 1-3 seems like it would set Iowa up for a division title. But math doesn’t lie and math says 2-1 non-con, 5-4 conference: 7-5 overall.

The details:

Iowa win chances

Where Who What Why
Where Who What Why
vs Indiana 60 Feels like a toss-up. I think Indiana is actually better, but Kinnick is an awful place that should be razed to the ground.
@ Iowa State 50 El Assico. The only non-con game I will always watch.
vs Kent State 100 There are teams in the big10 who can lose at home to something like Kent State. Iowa isn't one of them.
vs Colorado State 90 If this game were in Ft Collins there might be a chance. CSU is exactly the kind of team Iowa roadgrades to death.
@ Maryland 70 Night game. Prime time. Flashy, spunky team playing at home, thinking they're ready to take a big step forward. Iowa fucking loves those games.
vs Penn State 20 James Franklin has been at Penn State for a while. He's never lost to Iowa*
vs Purdue 50 Purdue does pretty well against Iowa but nobody can figure out why. Will it continue?
@ Wisconsin 40 This one is for the West title. Nobody that matters will care.
@ Northwestern 50 NW owns Iowa, right? (4-1 in last 5). NW sucks in odd-numbered years, right? Resistable Force meets Movable Object
vs Minnesota 80 Iowa usually closes strong. Iowa usually owns Minnesota. The 2nd best trophy in college sports stays in Iowa. Luckily Floyd isn't actually alive.
vs Illinois 80 Bert is reminded that Kinnick sucks.
@ jNebby 80 Iowa romps because they don't wear hoodies.

* There was no 2020 season and nobody is going to convince me otherwise.

Ferentz will coach Iowa until the heat death of the universe. I’m pretty sure he’s undead.

WSR: 9-3/8-4. Indiana, Penn State, wisconsin, and Minnesota. Because I always think that Minnesota will beat them. I’m sure it won’t happen because Kirk will script the first 15 plays perfectly and get a pair of touchdowns, then Iowa will hang on for dear life while we fuck around and avoid doing things that got us wins in other games for reasons.

I think Kirk sticks around until everyone in the Iowa media finishes glossing over the fact that Brian is a racist idiot and strong-arms the AD into giving him the job.

MNW: Give me 9-3 (6-3), dropping games to wisconsin, Penn State, and someone else. I don’t know or care who it is, as it’s an odd year and thus probably not Northwestern.

I proclaim Iowa Week over. Long live Iowa Week.


Iowa in the Big Ten:

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    3-6 or worse
    (8 votes)
  • 1%
    (4 votes)
  • 14%
    (29 votes)
  • 33%
    (69 votes)
  • 24%
    (50 votes)
  • 22%
    8-1 or better
    (47 votes)
207 votes total Vote Now


Iowa overall:

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    5-7 or worse
    (7 votes)
  • 1%
    (3 votes)
  • 7%
    (15 votes)
  • 33%
    (67 votes)
  • 25%
    (50 votes)
  • 17%
    (35 votes)
  • 11%
    11-1 or better
    (22 votes)
199 votes total Vote Now