Iowa's Bowl Outlook
|With Oregon State's embarrassing loss to Oregon last night in the Civil War Game, the Big Ten's bowl picture is now starting to develop. Iowa's bowl destination will ultimately depend on if 2 Big Ten teams are selected for BCS Bowls. With Oregon State's chances of making the Rose Bowl gone, it would appear highly likely that Ohio State will snatch up the final BCS at-large spot. Here is how we see it all going down.|
A total of 10 teams will make BCS games: 6 conference champions (Big Ten, SEC, Big XII, Pac 10, ACC, Big East) and 4 at-large selections. This year the conference champions line-up this way: Penn State (Big Ten), Winner of Alabama/Florida (SEC), Oklahoma/Texas (Big XII), USC (Pac 10), Virginia Tech/Boston College (ACC), Cincinatti (Big East). With the remaining four at-large spots, the BCS will be forced to take undefeated Utah since they will end the season ranked in the Top 8, the loser of the SEC Title game (Alabama/Florida) will snatch an at-large bid, and whichever Big XII South team (Oklahoma/Texas) is left out of the Big XII Title game will play in a BCS bowl as well. That leaves only one spot open, and it would be more than schocking if a Top-10 Ohio State team was not selected with that final at-large pick.With Penn State and Ohio State out of the picture, the Capital One Bowl takes the next team in the Big Ten standings, Michigan State. Now the interesting part. The Outback Bowl gets to pick next between a 9-3 Northwestern team and an 8-4 Iowa team. Both finished 5-3 in conference play, and of course Northwestern beat Iowa in Iowa City back in September. However, the Hawkeyes have won 5 of their last 6 and are the hottest team in the Big Ten right now. Iowa is also coveted by major bowls thanks to its large fan base and those fans' tendancy to travel south in late December. Northwestern can't even sell out 47,000-seat Ryan Field. Because the Outback Bowl knows Iowa will bring 20,000+ fans to Tampa, much like they did last weekend to Minneapolis, they will take the Hawkeyes. We believe Iowa will be playing in the Outback Bowl on New Years Day.
Worst case scenario is the Alamo Bowl, and San Antonio isn't exactly bad in late December either.