I know that you want to light the world on fire because people are upset that Brian Ferentz was acting like a small child in the press box. I know that you want to get into a knife fight because there are people who are mad that Iowa didn’t participate in the children’s wave when Minnesota did. I know that you’re upset because everything surrounding Iowa football is generally stupid right now. I get it. We’re at a special level of dumb. But I’ll tell you this: none of this will matter if Iowa somehow manages to beat Ohio State. None of it.
Speaking of Ohio State, they played one of the most bonkers football games I’ve ever seen. Here’s a three minute highlight film, which is one of the shorter ones I could find. Seriously, you might just want to watch the game, it’s wonderful:
There are currently five Big Ten teams bowl eligible: OSU, PSU, MSU, Michigan and Wisconsin. Northwestern upsetting Michigan State probably locks them in for a bowl game. Purdue and Illinois are safe bets to miss out (man, was I wrong about Purdue). Maryland needs two wins and finishes the season with Rutgers, Michigan, MSU and PSU. Yikes. Indiana is 3-5 and finishes with Wisconsin, Illinois, Rutgers and Purdue so they at least have a shot to win six games. Nebraska is 4-4 and has Northwestern, Minnesota, PSU and Iowa. They could win 2-3 of those games or lose all four because lol wtf Mike Riley.
Let’s talk bowls.
- Four teams are chosen for the College Football Playoff and six bowls rotate for the semifinals: Rose, Sugar, Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, and Peach. The bowls hosting the semifinals this year are the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl.
- As the Rose Bowl is hosting a semifinal, the Big Ten Champion will play in one of the other New Year’s bowls, provided they do not make the College Football Playoff.
- The National Championship game will take place on January 8th, 2018 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA.
- The highest ranked champion from the Group of Five mid-majors (AAC, C-USA, MAC, MWC, Sun Belt) is guaranteed a spot in the non-playoff bowls if they fail to make the playoff.
- The Big Ten has a six-year contract with the eight non-playoff bowl games (aside from the Pinstripe, which is an eight-year contract). Per the terms of that contract, the bowls are to select at least five different Big Ten schools over six years.
- The non-playoff bowls are broken down into three tiers. Tier 1: Holiday, Buffalo Wild Wings (Citrus) and Outback. Tier 2: Pinstripe, Music City/TaxSlayer, and Foster Farms. Tier 3: Quick Lane and Heart of Dallas/Armed Forces.
- The Music City/TaxSlayer and Heart of Dallas/Armed Forces Bowls alternate each year. As the Big Ten played in the Music City last season, they’ll presumably play in the TaxSlayer Bowl in 2017. The Big Ten will play in the Heart of Dallas Bowl in 2017.
- Iowa has played in the following bowls since 2010: Insight, Outback, TaxSlayer, Rose, and Outback.
Again: If the B1G sends a non-champion team to the Orange Bowl, which is a good bet this year, the ACC gets the B1G spot in the Citrus. So, don't count on the Big Ten playing in the Citrus Bowl.
Brett McMurphy: Foster Farms Bowl, vs. USC
CBS Sports: Music City Bowl, vs. Kentucky
College Football News: Foster Farms Bowl, vs. Oregon
ESPN (Kyle Bonagura): Foster Farms Bowl, vs. Stanford
ESPN (David Hale): Music City Bowl, vs. South Carolina
Land of 10: Holiday Bowl
SBNation: Holiday Bowl, vs. Arizona
Sports Illustrated: Foster Farms Bowl, vs. Stanford
With Purdue and Nebraska remaining on the schedule, Iowa has a very good chance at finishing the season 7-5. A record like that will put you in the Holiday/Music City/Foster Farms tier, with the trip to San Diego being unlikely. Finishing 8-4/9-3 will probably guarantee a Holiday Bowl bid (at the very least).
The Arizona matchup intrigues me. First off, Ferentz went 2-0 against Rich Rodriguez when he was at Michigan. Second off, I think some payback is in order for their fans being complete fucks when Iowa visited Tuscon in 2010. What, did you think I forgot? No, I didn't forget...
A totally fun scenario is where you think about Iowa State losing out and finishing 6-6 and Iowa only managing to beat Purdue or Nebraska and the teams having a 6-6 record rematch in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. You know you want it to happen. Don’t even lie.
No, but really, 7-5 and a trip to the Foster Farms Bowl against USC continues to seem like a very safe pick.