Wondering what bowl Iowa is headed to this year? Wonder no longer. Courtesy Friend of the Pants Marc Morehouse:
@marcmorehouse Iowa vs. Oklahoma in the Insight. Dec. 30, 9p.m. kick CST on ESPN.
BOOM. The Bob Stoops Bowl is on. (No, the winner of this game will not automatically become Iowa's head coach next year. Unless Ferentz wins, of course.)
Once again Iowa landed a bowl higher than their record or stature probably deserved, thanks to the Gator Bowl's hard-on for Ohio State-Florida (Urban Meyer's heart on a pole match!) and Penn State's Sandusky-induced freefall (they landed in the Ticket City Bowl against Houston).
As far as the game itself, Oklahoma is probably the strongest opponent Iowa could have possibly drawn in a bowl this year, which is both good news and bad news. The good news is that even in the wake of a disappointing regular season, Iowa players shouldn't have much trouble getting excited about playing a college football blue blood like Oklahoma. (Remember the 2006 Alamo Bowl against Texas?) In fact, it would be pretty surprising if Iowa players weren't more excited about this game than Oklahoma players; they get a chance to knock off a college football elite (albeit an elite squad having a slightly down year), while Oklahoma finds themselves in the Insight Bowl two months after dreaming about playing for the national championship. Big Game Bob will have to work all of his motivational mojo to get his players up for this game. For all Ferentz's problems, bowl preparation hasn't been one of them since the 2003 Orange Bowl. In fact, it's been one of his strengths.
The bad news is that Oklahoma is (shock!) an extremely talented team, albeit one that's been racked with injuries and inconsistent play over the course of the season. If they're healthy and get their shit together, this could be Iowa's ugliest showing in a bowl game in a long, long time. (Although many of the injuries that afflicted Oklahoma were of the season-ending variety; no need to worry about seeing Ryan Broyles suit up in this one, Iowa fans.)