Hello, friends. We have quite the slate of questions for you today. Let's get at it.
@Adam_Jacobi Outback Bowl berth... Reality or pipe dream?— Andrew Blessing (@ABlessing89) October 31, 2013
Well, let's define reality. Hang on, not in the larger sense, but I mean... are we talking "technically possible" or into the realm of "plausible"?
Because it is possible. Option one is that Iowa wins out, finishing at 9-3 (6-2) on a five-game winning streak and making a major push at Michigan State for the Legends Division. But since MSU already has the tiebreaker, I just don't see how Iowa gets in there. So then from there, Iowa's got to hope for a logjam in the middle of the Big Ten at three or more losses. Wisconsin would already be there with its loss to Iowa. Nebraska would too if Iowa wins (and is a good candidate for hitting four losses at that point). Michigan would be on that cusp, especially if it loses this weekend (I think it will). Thus, while passing MSU is too much to ask, the bowl ladder could easily go OSU-MSU-Iowa-Wisconsin-Michigan-Nebraska from there.
Odds of that? Not too good. Bill C. put Iowa's odds of winning out at 9%, which A) seems generous and B) is the same frequency that 23-point underdogs win their football games. So yeah, don't hold your breath.
If Iowa must lose one game—and odds are overwhelming that it will—it has to be against Wisconsin. Has to be. Wisconsin's a near-mortal lock to finish ahead of Iowa and has the best at-large BCS chances of any Big Ten team (OSU's much more likely to go to the Rose Bowl or even BCS title game if things end up well). So if Iowa beats Wisconsin, hey, great for the Hawkeyes but it means Wisconsin's out of the BCS running and will take a "regular" bowl bid. That means Iowa would have to get picked for the Outback over everyone in the Legends Division, and that ain't happening. So yes, if you want Iowa to go to the Outback, you want its loss to come to Wisconsin.
Then from there, it's largely the same as before: beat Michigan, go to Purdue and Nebraska and win. All somewhat plausible on their own, altogether not likely. But definitely not yet a pipe dream, especially with Michigan's road woes and Nebraska teetering on the edge of fanarchy.
Real talk though: I'd rather see Iowa get its seventh win before we start thinking things like "Outback Bowl."
@Adam_Jacobi over/under on number of times the words "big boy football" are used during the Iowa/Wiscy game?— B.ry.ce (@AbeFromanEsq) October 31, 2013
Ohhhhh god. Not only are Iowa and Wisconsin both historically cornfed, hamblasting programs, but Iowa's especially so this year. And since we've got ABC on the call, you know Sean McDonough's going to be leaning on that one a lot (I think it's him for this one). So like, um... I wanna say... 18? It's going to be the "big boy football" of cliches. So to speak.
@Adam_Jacobi When should we realistically expect Powell to become a bigger factor in the offense? After a full offseason w/ the playbook?— Chris Flynn (@cflynn2) October 31, 2013
Yep, next year. That's not to cast aspersions against Powell or anything like that, it's just that he's clearly not capable of doing a whole lot in the offense yet—as you'd expect from a guy who's still in his second or third month in the program. Iowa wideouts have to do a lot, and even when they play early they rarely perform effectively (Dominique Douglas would appear to be the exception that proves the rule, but even he and Jake Christensen were on different pages so often that it drove
JC6 Drew Tate insane and sent him to Romotown Asylum Canada).
And really, with Powell's physical gifts and instincts, you want him being a much bigger part of the offense than he is now. We're sure he wants that too. So in 2014, sure, expect the Breakout Season. But patience is the key here.
@Adam_Jacobi You wanna borrow my jumpsuit for Halloween?— Hawkeye Elvis (@HawkeyeElvis) October 31, 2013
I could never, friend. Real Elvis never offered his Nudie Suit to Wayne Newton, after all.
@Adam_Jacobi is it possible that Pierre the Pelican is AIRBHG in its true physical form?— Steve (@SteveTSRA) October 31, 2013
YES IT IS UNDENIABLY TRUE.
Just to recap last night--the NBA's New Orleans Hornets became the New Orleans Pelicans over the past offseason. They unveiled their mascot yesterday.
THE MASCOT IS THE WORST, MOST TERRIFYING THING IN THE WORLD.