Just like they deserved, the 12-1 Iowa Hawkeyes will compete in this year's Rose Bowl after falling to Michigan State in the Big Ten Chmpionship Game. In what was one of the better contests of the entire college football season, Iowa couldn't fend the Spartans off on the final drive to secure a Big Ten Championship and a spot in the College Football Playoffs.
The consolation prize isn't too shabby, though. The Hawkeyes will head to Pasadena on January 1, 2016 to take on Stanford, the Pac-12 Champion. The Cardinal finished the year 11-2 by knocking off USC in the conference title Saturday night.
The Hawkeyes finished fifth in the final college football playoff poll, paving their way to an invite to possibly the most historic bowl game in the entire lineup. The Cardinal finished sixth in the final College Football Playoff rankings.
It is Iowa's first trip to Pasadena since 1991 where they fell to Washington 46-34. Stanford last made the Rose Bowl just two years ago when they lost to Michigan State 24-20.
It is Kirk Ferentz's first trip to the Rose Bowl as Hawkeyes' head coach.
Iowa will send a potent running attack to the Rose Bowl, having three different backs rush for at least 195 yards in a game this season. They also have a clutch quarterback in C.J. Beathard and one of the best defenses in the country. The Hawkeyes have held opponents to under 20 points a game.
Stanford boasts one of the best players in the country in Christian McCaffrey. He's a weapon in the rushing and passing attack and should claim an invite to the Heisman Trophy Ceremony.
It'll be a great showdown and another classic one in a classic stadium.