The 14th ranked Iowa Hawkeyes will open Big Ten play Wednesday night at home against Michigan. The Hawks are 12-1 and get set for a race in a conference which has been ranked as the second toughest for much of this season, a much higher ranking than a year ago. Iowa coach Steve Alford says the quality of the conference is up all the way through and he expects it to be another great race. He says the Hawks would love to be one of the contenders in the title chase. Alford says they’re not there yet, he says he doesn’t know if they’re even a top 20 team yet. He says if they keep working they have the ability to be there.