Who cares if its a "January" bowl game if it doesn't mean you performed better during the year than non "January" bowl teams? The only reason I prefer one over the other is the locale. You can argue, rightly or wrongly, that Iowa is a better team than Northwestern and even that Iowa had a better year despite the record and head to head loss. Those are arguments for why Iowa should be ranked higher than Northwestern though.
They are not. Northwestern has a better record, beat us head to head, and is ranked higher in every poll. Northwestern should have beaten Indiana, Iowa should have beaten Illinois, blah blah. It is insane that college football fans are left to ponder and argue over who travels better, has a richer fanbase, and pulls better tv ratings. I know this is the system we have and we have to live with it and play by its rules. They are not rules that necessarily make me proud of Iowa to win by them, however. (I'm proud and happy with Iowa's performance and season, Outback or Alamo will not change that.)
Sorry Billy and Amy, you didn't get into ISU even though you had better grades and a better SAT score, Jimmy and Brenda are in instead, Jimmy has a sweet wardrobe of jorts to bring to campus and Brenda is fatter.
Alex Trebec: You did have the most money at the end of the game Susan, but I am going to declare Tim the winner because he will draw better ratings tomorrow.
Free throw shooting contest, Steve makes 8, Larry makes 7. The rules of the contest say that I can choose Larry because he only missed one more. I pick Larry. Larry wins a Sprite on January 2nd. Steve wins a 7-Up on December 29th.
I'm happy Iowa is going to a bowl game, be it Outback or Alamo. I prefer Outback because I would rather go to Florida and play the SEC. I am not going to brag if we go to the Outback or sulk if we go to Alamo though. The rules of the game make the distinction meaningless.