Which Bowl Game Will Iowa Play In?
The 12-game regular season is over for the Iowa Hawkeyes and now they await their bowl fate. Almost all the experts have Iowa headed to one of two places.
It appears Iowa is likely to play in San Diego or Nashville between Christmas and New Year's Eve. Though there is one projection that has them playing on New Year's Day. More on that later. However, when it comes to California or Tennessee, the choice is clear. I love Nashville, and Iowa has never played in the Music City Bowl, but...
I think it's safe to say that Iowa's players and fans aren't overly excited about a trip to Nashville in late December. The average temperature in Nashville the afternoon of December 30, when the Music City Bowl is played, is 45 degrees. Yep, not exciting. And it's a 2:30 kickoff on a Friday afternoon. That just says, we're not a marquee game. Sorry Music City, but that's the truth. Thankfully, there's only one forecast that has Iowa heading to that game. CBS Sports believes it'll be Iowa versus Kentucky on December 30. Argh. Let's move on.
How 'bout San Diego, California instead? The game is played at 6 p.m. Iowa time on Tuesday, December 27. The average San Diego temperature at that time of day is 55 degrees (65 is the average high). There's also some Iowa history in the Holiday Bowl. The Hawks haven't played there in 25 years, but the three times they were in this contest, they were close. San Diego Bowl Games reminds us just how close:
1991: Iowa-13 BYU-13 (tie)
1987: Iowa-20 Wyoming-19
1986: Iowa-39 San Diego State-38
There are plenty of prognosticators predicting Iowa's return to California for the second time in 2016, following Iowa's Rose Bowl game on New Year's Day.
There's one other possibility out there. College Football News believes Iowa will land in the Outback Bowl against Louisiana State. Iowa fans are familiar with that Tampa bowl. Iowa has been there four times since 2004. The results have been decent for Iowa in this game, as the bowl's website reminds us:
January 1, 2014 LSU-21 Iowa-14
January 1, 2009 Iowa-31 South Carolina-10
January 2, 2006 Florida-31 Iowa-24 (If not for the offside call on Chad Greenway on the
onside kick near the end of the game, who knows what might have happened)
January 1, 2004 Iowa-37 Florida-17
The College Football Playoff Selection Show is this Sunday at 11 a.m. central. Following that show's announcement of the four teams taking part in the playoff, the bowl chips will all fall into place. Until then, we have no choice but to wait and wonder...