Bowl Projections & How Soon the Hawks Could Punch Their Ticket to the Big Ten Championship Game
This year, Hawkeye fans have a lot to think about. There's the Big Ten Championship game, a possible trip to the College Football Playoff, or a very good bowl game. The bowl projections have begun, and at least one solid answer will hopefully arrive before Thanksgiving.
The Iowa Hawkeyes are 9-0 and ranked eighth in the country in both major polls. Iowa's magic number is two to clinch the Big Ten Western Division and a trip to the Big Ten Championship game. That means two more Iowa wins, or one Iowa win and one Wisconsin loss would both have Iowa playing in Indianapolis on December 5. Unfortunately for Hawkeye fans, that happening next weekend is an impossibility.
Wisconsin has their bye week next Saturday, so even if Iowa beats Minnesota Saturday night at Kinnick Stadium, they can't clinch the division. However, if Iowa also beats Purdue, November 21, they're headed to the Hoosier State. Wisconsin, even if they win out, can only tie Iowa in the standings IF Iowa wins at least two of their remaining three games. Since Iowa beat Wisconsin, the tie-breaker goes to the Hawks.
The bowl projections have begun and CBS Sports has Iowa being left out of the College Football Playoff. Still, what they're forecasting is pretty sweet... a New Year's Day trip to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, against the Utah Utes. The Utes are 10th in this week's Associated Press poll and #13 in the coaches poll, with an 8-1 record.
Meanwhile, SB Nation also predicts Iowa will be left out of the playoff. Their forecast is for a New Year's Day trip to Glendale, Arizona against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. They're ranked sixth in both polls this week and are also 8-1.
The 2015 season has been a blast for Hawkeye fans so far, but the fun is really just beginning.