One of the more comfortable aspects of Iowa’s strong start is that at 6-1, they’re already bowl eligible. They join the company of only two other Big Ten teams, Ohio State and Michigan.
Let us think back to when I was like “LOL Purdue isn’t making a bowl game” because they still had Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa and Wisconsin on their schedule. Well, then Purdue beat the brakes off of Ohio State and now they sit at 4-3. They’re in a much more comfortable position this week, especially with Michigan State losing Felton Davis III for the season and Minnesota sinking faster than the Lusitania. I’m confident that Purdue can now go bowling.
Minnesota? You’re out of the conference for losing to Nebraska. We’re calling up Mankato State. They have a football team, right?
Indiana keeps getting close to winning a game but…they aren’t actually winning any games. After starting out 4-1 they’ve lost three straight. Fortunately, they’ve got Minnesota, Maryland and Purdue at home. They’ve got a shot but c’mon, you can’t continue to be CHAOSTEAM if you don’t win games. Even so, I think they’re better than Maryland and that’s probably the sixth game the Terps need to make a bowl game. So, you’re out of the bowl picture, Terpy.
What do we do with Northwestern? The team that lost to Akron, got spanked by Duke and needed a rally to beat Rutgers now sits at 4-1 in conference and 4-3 overall. They’re like a bad version of 2015 Iowa. We don’t know how they keep winning but they keep winning. The bad news for the Wildcats is their next three games are against ranked opponents: Wisconsin, Notre Dame, and Iowa. Even so, they close the season with Minnesota and Illinois. They can win six games.
As it stands right now:
Bowl Eligible: Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa.
To Be Eligible: Penn State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Indiana, Northwestern.
Queso Bowl: Rutgers, Nebraska, Illinois, Minnesota, Maryland.
- 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 Orange Bowl and the Cotton Bowl.
- The National Championship will be played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California on January 7th, 2019.
- As the Rose Bowl is not hosting a semifinal, if the Big Ten Champion is selected for the College Football Playoff, the next highest ranked team by the CFB Playoff Committee, or the runner-up, will be selected for the Rose Bowl.
- 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 (through the 2019 season). The Big Ten has an eight-year contract with the Pinstripe Bowl (through 2021).
- The non-playoff bowls are broken down into three tiers. Tier 1: Holiday, Citrus and Outback. Tier 2: Pinstripe, Music City/TaxSlayer, and Redbox (formerly known as the Foster Farms Bowl). Tier 3: Quick Lane and First Responder (formerly known as the Heart of Dallas Bowl)/Armed Forces.
- As the Orange Bowl is a CFB Playoff Bowl, the Citrus Bowl will feature a Big Ten team this season.
- The Music City/TaxSlayer and First Responder/Armed Forces Bowls supposedly alternate each year. I’ve been doing this for a while and that’s the “official” line I always get. Despite this, an ACC team has played in the TaxSlayer Bowl for two straight seasons telling me that there really aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to bowl selections. It’s all about straight cash, homie.
- Iowa has played in the following bowls since 2010: Insight, Outback, TaxSlayer, Rose, Outback, and Pinstripe.
247 Sports: Holiday, vs. Stanford
Bleacher Report: Outback, vs. Kentucky
CBS Sports: Holiday, vs. Utah
College Football News: Holiday, vs. Oregon
ESPN (Mitch Sherman): Peach, vs. Georgia
ESPN (Kyle Bonagura): Citrus, vs. Kentucky
SBNation: Fiesta, vs. LSU
Sporting News: Citrus, vs. Kentucky
Sports Illustrated: Holiday, vs. USC
USA Today: Holiday, vs. Oregon
You have no idea how long I've been waiting to do this...
I’ve been waiting for years because I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Iowa projected to play in the Peach Bowl. But thanks to you, Mitch Sherman, here we are ,you beautiful man.
Not a lot of change here and a lot of sites are still playing it safe with Iowa in the Holiday Bowl. That means they expect Iowa to lose to Penn State and lose another game as it’s unlikely that a 10-2 Big Ten team will be playing in San Diego. If Iowa can beat Penn State I think you’ll see everyone projecting them in a New Year’s Six bowl next week, even if they were to miss the Big Ten Championship game.
Look, all Iowa can do is take it week by week. They don’t control their own destiny right now. Just win the games you have left on the schedule. Should Iowa beat Penn State and the Badgers lose another game…then you start worrying about how this whole tiebreaker thing shakes out. Until then, it’s Wisconsin’s division to lose.