Cutting Through the BcS: How it Affects Iowa

Some Florida newspaper reports have the Hawkeye Nation in a bit of an uproar today with regards to where Iowa will be playing its bowl game this year. Reports from the Orlando and Tampa papers spoke about the possibility of Tennessee receiving an at large bid from a BCS bowl, which might drop Ohio State out of the BCS picture and into the Capitol One Bowl in Orlando. HN.com's Jon Miller tries to sort out this mess and how this weekend's games will affect Iowa's bowl destination.

Some Florida newspaper reports have the Hawkeye Nation in a bit of an uproar today with regards to where Iowa will be playing its bowl game this year.

Reports from the Orlando and Tampa papers spoke about the possibility of Tennessee receiving an at large bid from a BCS bowl, which might drop Ohio State out of the BCS picture and into the Capitol One Bowl in Orlando.

That would leave the Outback Bowl with a choice of Iowa or Purdue from the Big Ten, and Florida might be their SEC team.

Purdue finished 6-2 in Big Ten play and 9-3 overall. They lost to Bowling Green in their season opener at home. Iowa finished 5-3 in Big Ten play and 9-3 overall. All of Iowa's losses came on the road in conference play, at Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue. Iowa is ranked 12th in this week's BCS poll and Purdue 13th. Iowa has two wins over current Top 10 BCS teams, Purdue has none.

But really, none of that matters as much as the fan following that Iowa or Purdue would send to the bowl game, and each team travels well. Iowa showed the state of Florida what it could deliver when 50,000 Hawkeye fans traveled to Miami for the Orange Bowl last year. Purdue has a recent history with the Outback Bowl as well, as they lost to Georgia in the 2000 Outback Bowl.

That game drew just over 54,000 fans and it was the lowest attendance total for an Outback Bowl in the last six games.

So what has caused some people to get nervous regarding Iowa's chances of playing in Florida?

On a BCS conference call yesterday, Tennessee was retained in the BCS at large pool along with Texas and Ohio State.

The following is speculation and opinion as to what could take place:

If Oklahoma, LSU and USC win on Saturday: They are all favored to do so. If that happens, then the Fiesta Bowl would get the first selection from the BCS pool, as their conference tie in is the Big 12 and the Sooners would be ranked #1. All projections have the Fiesta choosing Texas, who is an at large team.

The next Bowl that would make a selection would be the Rose, as USC would be #2 and playing in the Sugar Bowl. Here is where the speculation comes into play.

The Rose could choose LSU, a team that has a strong fan following, to play against Michigan. That would be a great game pitting the #3 and #4 ranked teams in the BCS against one another in what might be the best bowl match up on paper.

OR, the Rose could choose Tennessee over LSU for their pick, as Tennessee is promising the Rose Bowl that they will bring a lot of fans to Pasadena. After last year's poorly attended game between Oklahoma and Washington State, the Rose wants a great game this year and they want schools that travel well. They have that in Michigan already.

There is a ‘conspiracy' or ‘spite' theory floating around that the Rose might want to select Tennessee over LSU here. If they did that, that would ‘stick it' to the Orange Bowl, as the game that the Orange Bowl wants is Ohio State v Miami in a rematch of last year's national title game. The Rose was none too happy seeing Iowa v USC in the Orange last year, a game that Rose officials felt they deserved given the historical tie in between the Big Ten and the Pac Ten.

By selecting Tennessee in this scenario, and if the Fiesta chooses Texas as is widely speculated, there would not be any room for an at large Ohio State team, thus the Orange Bowl would not have the Buckeyes to choose from.

That would knock Ohio State down to the Capitol One as I outlined above, and it would put Iowa in a beauty contest with Purdue for the Outback with the Alamo Bowl left for the team that does not get the Outback Bowl Bid.

If Oklahoma loses and USC and LSU win: USC might then get the #1 ranking in the BCS and Oklahoma would fall to #2. The same two teams would be playing for the Sugar Bowl and some people might ask what the big difference would be then.

First of all, Texas would be out of the BSC picture, as Kansas State would get the Big 12 automatic bid to the Fiesta Bowl and only two teams from any one BCS conference can get a bid to the BCS bowls. Second, the Rose Bowl would then get the first pick from the remaining at large pool, which would include Ohio State and Tennessee. The Rose could then take Tennessee in my estimation and that would mean that Ohio State would be left out of the BCS picture, as Oklahoma is the other at large team.

If Oklahoma wins or loses, and USC AND LSU lose: Michigan might not be able to overtake a one loss Oklahoma team should the Sooners lose, but no matter. They would be playing for the title and I think they would come in at #2 behind the Sooners. If OK lost, the Fiesta has to take KSU. If OK wins, the Fiesta would take Texas. If OK loses, the Rose would get the first pick, and they could select Ohio State, which would mean Iowa would still go to Florida.

One thing here is that Ohio State could move into the top four of the BCS, which would guarantee them a BCS bid. But Georgia could move ahead of them, and I think that would happen.

So who should Iowa fans be rooting for this weekend if they want to go to a Florida Bowl? I say root for LSU to beat Georgia in the SEC Title game. If that happens, I don't think the Rose bowl could pass up an LSU-Michigan game and Tennessee is the Rose Bowl's trump card in the event that LSU loses. An LSU win likely sends Iowa to a Florida Bowl. Also root for Oklahoma to win, because if they lose, they take one of the at large bids.

No matter where Iowa plays, the 2nd Annual Hawkeyenation.com Bowl Trip will be in place. After announcing our trip yesterday on the web site, nearly 25% of the available slots were snapped up within 12 hours. We have a limited number of slots and once they are sold, that is it.

As it stands now, the package is priced for the Outback Bowl. Should Iowa got to a different bowl, your purchase is 100% refundable OR it is transferable to what ever bowl destination Iowa might find themselves at.

So there is no risk involved with our package and you can cement your travel plans now and not risk being left out in the cold after the BCS gets it all figured out.

Our package flies out of Des Moines this year. For more information on our package, including cost, dates, flight times and more, Click Here


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