Insight Bowl: Three Reasons It's Important

NORMAN, Okla. — At the onset, it looks like the Insight Bowl is a very meaningless postseason landing spot for the Sooners, but that's not the case. Sooners Illustrated examines why this is actually a much more meaningful contest than some may believe.

1. It determines what kind of momentum OU has into next year--Winning the final game does wonders at the end of the season. It energizes the team leading into offseason workouts, spring ball and the summer before fall camp. It replaces any negativity from recent losses with positive thoughts about the future. It just really sends the team into the 2012 season with the right mindset and sour taste in its mouth. The Sooners can use this game as a boost for next year's potential conference championship and national title run, which they will be back in yet again.

2. They can reach the 10-win plateau--The Sooners lead all of college football with 32 10-win seasons, and they have the chance to do that again, if they can beat Iowa in the Insight Bowl. If not, Alabama sneaks to within one of OU with their 31 10-win seasons. Nebraska, Michigan and USC are not far behind, with 26, 26 and 25, respectively. So, this should be part of the Sooners' motivation: to keep their firm grip on number of 10-win-or-more seasons. OU also leads the nation with 20 11+ win seasons.

3. It still gives them an opportunity to mesh as a team more coming out of 2011--Along with giving them momentum, it also allows the Sooners several extra practices and another live game experience to come together as a unit. That means experimenting with different offensive sets, defensive looks and personnel groupings that can help next season. It's often overlooked how valuable the additional practice time is, but whether it's the Insight or the Cotton or the Fiesta Bowl, this is a crucial component.

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