The Iowa Hawkeyes are heading to the Outback Bowl to take on the Florida Gators Jan 2nd, 2017. This comes as a big surprise to a lot of Hawk fans and the media alike, but should it? Here's a few reasons why Iowa is headed back to Florida.

First, Iowa is playing good football. After struggling, and I'm being nice about their performance at Penn State, the Hawks have come together as a team and put together three great wins to close out the season. A "HUGE" win against Michigan, where Iowa never gave up the whole game, on a last-second game-winning field goal. A 28-0 win over Illinois on the road, a team that had previously beaten Michigan State just a few short weeks earlier. And they finished up the season with a dominating performance over Nebraska 40-10 at Kinnick Stadium.

Secondly, Iowa travels GREAT! The fans are second to none. The Tampa/Clearwater/St Pete Beach communities love the Iowa fans. I was lucky enough to go to the first Iowa Outback Bowl in 2004, where the Hawks dominated Florida and won 37-17. The local Florida media couldn't believe how many Hawk fans were everywhere and they loved how genuinely nice all the fans were. I remember the media wanting us back every year.

Lastly, the Iowa coaching staff. It all starts with head coach Kirk Ferentz. You won't find a more trusted and genuine coach. Even in 2006 when Iowa played against Florida and the Conference USA officials, Coach Ferentz took the high road. Please don't let us have those officials ever again!!!

In case you want to see that badly officiated game, the link is below.