Iowa Bowl Outlook: Florida Water Clearing Up

As one door shut on Saturday, another might be open. Oregon dismantled Oregon State, likely putting an end to the Beavers chances of crashing the BCS Bowl party this year, which would be a good thing for those Iowa fans that want to see the Hawkeyes play in the Outback Bowl.

As one door shut on Saturday, another might be open.

Oregon dismantled Oregon State, likely putting an end to the Beavers chances of crashing the BCS Bowl party this year, which would be a good thing for those Iowa fans that want to see the Hawkeyes play in the Outback Bowl.

An Oregon State loss has been something we have been talking about for weeks with regards to this scenario, and it came to fruition.

Now, The New York Post claims, per it's Friday article LINKED HERE that the Fiesta Bowl is ‘mulling over' a Utah-Boise State match up.

Huh?

This is from the ‘out of nowhere' file, but I am filing it away in the ‘I will believe it when I see it' file, too.

The Post paints an interesting scenario, one that is not wholly otherworldly. But as for its likelihood, I just don't think it's going to happen, because when push comes to shove, the Fiesta Bowl is going to be sitting there with Ohio State as an available team in the at large BCS pool. That is a school that has one of the largest alumni bases in all of college sports, and a school that has taken 40,000 strong to its numerous trips to Tempe. Are they going to pass on the Buckeye fans?

Again, I will believe that when I see it.

I won't deny that a Boise State-Utah game is quasi intriguing to me. Perhaps I am in the minority, but I would watch that game, mainly because it's another college football game that I will be able to watch before the sport hibernates for eight months. I also think that the two best non-BCS conference teams, provided they are both in the Top 12 of the BCS, should play during the conference championship week slate of games to see who will represent the BCS Busters.

But two non-BCS conference teams getting invited into the BCS Bowl party is not something I find ‘healthy' for the sport.

If that would happen, what you may see is a further watering down of the non-conference scheduling of BCS Conference programs. Yeah, like that's something we need more of.

Why would Ohio State ever want to play USC or Texas in the regular season, if it could come back to haunt them in the form of a team from the WAC or the Mountain West getting a BCS Bowl bid because of a loss to a power conference team? Ohio State could have scheduled another winnable game in the out of conference portion of its schedule, the same way most of the Big 12 South teams did, and be sitting at 11-1 right now, assured of a BCS Bowl bid.

As it stands, they have had to sweat out the Oregon State situation and now will likely have to sweat out the possible Boise State-Utah Fiesta Bowl scenario until next week.

The fact of the matter is that the BCS was not put together with the Utah's or Boise State's of the world in mind. For two teams of that ilk to crash the biggest party in college football at the expense of one of the most tradition laden programs in the history of the sport seems far fetched to me.

It makes for good copy, it makes for interesting message board and talk radio debate, but I will say this again; I will believe it when I see it.

So if you haven't noticed, I am highly skeptical of that taking place.

Where does this weekend's action leave the Hawkeyes with regards to their possible bowl destination?

TWO UP GIDDY UP

I believe the ‘two up' scenario is going to play out now. That means two Big Ten teams, Penn State and Ohio State, will receive BCS bowl bids. Penn State's is guaranteed, to the Rose Bowl. Ohio State will get a second bid for the BCS. The SEC and Big 12 will also get two bids, with the Pac 10, Big East & ACC receiving one bid, along with Utah.

USC and Penn State will play in the Rose Bowl, and I believe Oklahoma will earn the Big 12 South title by ‘virtue' of having the highest BCS rating this week, which is the league's tie-breaker in three way ties. I think that Oklahoma will face Florida for the National Championship, with Oklahoma being the #1 rated team. That means the Fiesta Bowl will have the FIRST PICK of the at large pool. Do you honestly think they are going to take Utah or Boise State with that first pick? I don't.

Penn State and USC are not available for them to select, either. Texas will be available, and I think that is the direction that the Fiesta will take. And when the Fiesta gets to pick again, it will select Ohio State, which will be there for them.

This means that the Capital One Bowl will select it's Big Ten representative from the following pool of teams: Michigan State (9-3), Northwestern (9-3) and Iowa (8-4).

Here is how I see things shaking out in the ‘Two Up' scenario:

ROSE: Penn State vs USC
FIESTA: Ohio State vs Texas
CAP ONE: Michigan State vs Georgia
OUTBACK: Iowa vs South Carolina
ALAMO: Northwestern vs Missouri
CHAMPS: Wisconsin vs Virginia Tech
INSIGHT: Minnesota vs Kansas

A few notes here: In the ‘two up' scenario, the Outback, Alamo or Champs is not bound by the ‘two game rule', meaning it can take any available team provided a seven win team is selected over a six win team. Being there were no six win teams this year in the Big Ten (meaning 6-6), this does not apply. There is a chance that the Alamo could select Wisconsin over Northwestern, but I don't think that will happen. Also, Wisconsin vs Virginia Tech is a game that was to have been played this September, but Wisconsin wanted to schedule out of that game this year due to their Big Ten schedule. That's how the Badgers wound up playing against Cal Poly in the season finale.

LSU's loss to Arkansas pushed them to 7-5, as did South Carolina's loss at Clemson. But, there is a stronger likelihood of more Gamecock fans traveling to Tampa with a 7-5 record than LSU fans, mostly because they can drive down the night before. Had South Carolina won their game, their fan base would be even more energized, and I believe the Outback would have considered going with Northwestern since the Gamecock fans would snap up 40,000+ tickets.

Given how things played out this weekend, South Carolina does not have much momentum, and it will be interesting to see how their fans travel. Also, the SEC chooses which teams go to which bowl games; it's not like the Big Ten's set up.

In this now far more likely ‘Two Up' scenario, I just don't see the Outback Bowl passing on an Iowa team that will be available to them. It's also possible that the Cap One could take Iowa, but I think those chances are remote. The Georgia-MSU match up gives the Cap One two ranked teams, two marquee running backs and two 9-3 teams that finished 6-2 in their respective leagues. That is the direction they will go, even though both of those teams will come into that game on a losing streak.

Here are my latest percentages with regards to Iowa's likely bowl destination:

Outback Bowl: 80%
Alamo Bowl: 20%

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