USC beat UCLA: Had USC lost that game, they would have been 10-2, the same record as Ohio State, with a head to head thrashing of Ohio State back in September. Oregon State would have gone to the Rose Bowl, and the Buckeyes and Trojans would have been the pick for the BCS. As it turned out, USC won the game 28-7, they will face Penn State in the Rose Bowl, and Ohio State is about a 99% lock to be selected for a BCS bowl game a well, giving the Big Ten two teams. That is the ‘two up' scenario we have been talking about the past few weeks.
Folks, that was really the only game that had much significance on Iowa's chances of going to either the Outback or the Alamo Bowls.
With the USC win, and with the Big Ten nearly a lock to get two into the BCS, that means the Capital One Bowl is going to select Michigan State, leaving Iowa and Northwestern for the Outback Bowl.
Despite the best lobbying efforts of the Northwestern Wildcats, the Iowa Hawkeyes are near mortal locks to get the call from the Outback Bowl. Official University of Iowa channels are now starting to speak that way as well.
They sent out an email on Saturday evening saying that it appears Iowa will be heading to the Outback Bowl, although they did not say that was a certainty.
However, official Iowa channels have been very vague over the past week with regards to Iowa's bowl destination, and this is the first indication from them that the Outback is in the offing.
Of course, if you have been reading the emails and stories I have been producing on this topic, you know that we felt the Outback Bowl was the most likely destination for Iowa, dating back to hours after Daniel Murray's game winning kick against Penn State, as long as two teams from the Big Ten went to the BCS.
That is likely going to happen, and Iowa will likely be going to the Outback Bowl.
We want you to come with us!
Over 100 Iowa fans have climbed on board the HawkeyeNation.com Charter Express to Tampa before even knowing for sure Iowa will be headed there. The pace of sales for this, our 6th bowl charter trip, have been unprecedented in terms of pre-sales before officially knowing Iowa's destination.
Every one of our bowl trips has been a sellout, and this trip will be no different.
For those of you that act very soon, and I am not kidding here, you can stay with us at the Downtown Tampa Hyatt Regency Hotel, which is the Big Ten headquarters this year for the Outback Bowl. That means you will be staying where the Hawkeye players and coaches are staying!
As of this writing, we have fewer than 30 rooms still available at the Hyatt. Once they are gone, we will not be able to secure additional rooms at this hotel, and we will begin booking trips at the Renaissance Tampa Hotel International Plaza, a Marriott property. That is a very nice property, just minutes away from Raymond James Stadium. For some, that might be a better option than the downtown Hyatt. If that works better for you, you can already book one of our packages to that property.
Also, you will find our travel package to be priced under another popular bowl travel option. If you are traveling with another person, you are looking at hundreds of dollars of savings by coming with HawkeyeNation.com.
For more information on our bowl package options, click on the link below:
Iowa will officially announce its bowl destination no later than 4pm on Sunday.
Here are my latest percentages:
OUTBACK BOWL: 95%
ALAMO BOWL: 5%
Iowa's likely opponent in the Outback Bowl is South Carolina, a team that has struggled mightily on offense this year; they rank 97th out of 119 schools in Division I in total offense.
To take a look at their overall statistics, click on the following link:
We hope to see you in Tampa!