Iowa's end of season success has resulted in them being selected to the Outback Bowl for the fifth time since 2004. The Hawkeyes were sputtering some with a 5-4 record but finished with a flurry. Their last three games included wins over ranked teams in Michigan and Nebraska, and also Illinois.
Their win over the Wolverines gave Michigan their first blemish of the season. Keith Duncan's game winning field goal against the Maize and Blue in Kinnick Stadium had some drastic implications in college football this season.
Against the Huskers at home, the Hawkeyes were dominant en route to a 40-10 win. Their passing game showed some signs of life for the first time since the beginning portions of the season and their defense put the clamps down on a prolific offensive attack from Nebraska.
The Hawkeyes will face Florida in Tampa. The Gators also finished the season with four losses after being defeated handily by Alabama in the SEC Championship game, 54-16. Jim McElwain and the SEC East champs closed out with a record of 9-4.
What could be described as key wins for the Gaters were victories over LSU and Georgia. They beat the Tigers 16-10 and the Bulldogs 24-10 in Jacksonville.
However, their season did not come without a few disappointments, either. Florida fell to Tennessee and were blown out by all of Arkansas, Florida State and Alabama. They were also less than convincing in wins over South Carolina, Vanderbilt and UMass.
What the Gators do have is very similar to what Iowa has. A sputtering offense that has struggled to move the ball or score with any kind of regularity but a stifling defense that has kept them competitive for the most part. Expect a low-scoring affair in Tampa when the Hawkeyes and Gators collide. Points should be at a premium.