Miller: Bowl Scenarios, Big 10 Snubs & More

Iowa's bowl future looks clearer after this weekend's action. Jon Miller talks about that & more

For the second straight weekend in a row, a lot of necessary ‘tumblers' fell into place for the Iowa football program.

That is, of course, if going to the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio was something they wanted to do.

Judging by the voice of the fans, and the fact that our bowl charter flight is approaching 50 percent sold out without even knowing for sure if the Alamo is the bowl Iowa will play in, it seems they want to go back and have some fun on the Riverwalk.

When Nebraska pounded Colorado on Friday, it did two things.

One, it vaulted them into contention for the Alamo, as they finished 7-4 on the season. Two, it opened a door for Iowa State to gain a birth in the Big 12 title game for the second year in a row…or rather, the second year in a row where Iowa State controlled its own destiny to earn such a bid.

And for the second year in a row, Iowa State lost that bid in overtime.

Last year it was a home loss to Missouri and this year it was a road loss to Kansas.

The loss dropped Iowa State to 7-4 overall and 4-4 in the Big 12. That is the same record as Colorado and Nebraska. The Huskers beat Iowa State in overtime in Lincoln earlier this year and they also beat Colorado.

With Oklahoma handling Oklahoma State on Saturday, they too finish the year 7-4 overall and 5-3 in the league. They are the team that the Holiday Bowl would like to select, and Iowa State's loss will make it hard for them to slide beyond the Holiday, which has third pick in the Big 12.

For the Cyclones, the Kansas game was being billed as one of the biggest games in the program's history. In losing the game, who knows how much air was let out of Cyclone Nation. When you factor in that Nebraska won its last two games of the season and will be returning to a bowl game after a one year hiatus from postseason play, their fan base is energized.

Which makes it very, very difficult to imagine that Iowa will not be playing against Nebraska in the 2005 Alamo Bowl.

This of course is contingent on Ohio State earning one of the two at-large bids from the BCS, something I believe will happen. It's also contingent that Texas and USC will win their final games on Saturday; USC plays UCLA and Texas will play Colorado. The Buffaloes back into the Big 12 title game due to Iowa State's loss. Texas beat the Buffs 42-17 in Austin earlier this year and the title game will be in Houston.

Whether it's Iowa vs. Nebraska or Iowa vs. Oklahoma, the Alamo Bowl appears to be Iowa's post season destination.

HawkeyeNation.com will be chartering a bowl trip flight for the fourth year in a row. As we told you, our flight is nearly half full and space is limited. Once things are set in stone, the plane will likely sell out in a matter of days, if history is any guide.

To learn more about our trip, the hotel we will be staying at and how you can join in on the fun, CLICK HERE

# # # # # # #

Did anyone get jobbed any more than Scott Chandler for All Big Ten Honors? The second team choice, Tim Massaquoi of Michigan, had 11 catches for 8 yards and zero touchdowns on the year in all 11 games for Michigan

In his eight Big Ten games, Chandler had 30 catches for 361 yards and two touchdowns. What's worse, he was not even on the ballot; he had to be written in.

For all 11 games, Chandler led Iowa with 40 receptions. That amounted to 463 receiving yards

# # # # # # #

Steve Alford sent a message to his team in the second half of their recent win against the University of Texas-San Antonio.

Iowa had a comfortable lead, but the coach felt as though his regulars were not playing to the level he wanted to see. So he sent in a line change and Iowa's bench took a good lead and made it into a laugher.

It's the perfect kind of scenario you want to see when a coach feels as though he has some lemons on his hand in a game; go make some lemonade.

With North Carolina State coming to town on Wednesday for the 8:35 tip off, it's nice that a coach can send a message and still win by 33.

# # # # # # #

QUICK HITTERS

-Through five games, senior guard Jeff Horner is just 8-29 from three point range. Through 14 games of the 2003-2004 season, Horner was just 19-58 from three-point range. He went on to make better than 50 percent of his three-point attempts the rest of the year with nearly 100 shots. Don't count him out.

-Iowa is averaging just 13.6 turnovers per game. They would like for that number to be around 12, but they averaged 13.0 per game in the two contests against traditional up-tempo teams Kentucky and Texas. That is a good sign.

-Iowa has made 74 free throws in five games compared to 69 free throw attempts for their opponents.

-Freshman guard Tony Freeman has 15 assists to just four turnovers.

-Iowa's football team snuck back into the rankings on Saturday, sitting in 25th place in both polls. Iowa's basketball team will also be ranked this week, somewhere in the mid-teens.


Hawkeye Insider Top Stories