Sure, Oregon just beat Oregon State, 65-38. But how much do we really know? What was really important about Oregon State losing? What does it all mean, Basil? The Takeaway has the answer.
Thank you, Oregon. Order and sanity have been restored to the BCS scene--or, at least, one part of it--after Oregon murderated their cross-state rivals last night. With the Beavers' loss, USC is once again the rightful heir to the Pac-10's Rose Bowl spot, and one more at-large bid is open for the rest of the BCS.
That bid will go to either Boise State or Ohio State, or in other words, Ohio State. The Buckeyes' departure to the BCS means that there are essentially three teams competing for two remaining New Year's Day Bowls: Michigan State, Iowa, and just Northwestern. Since Northwestern doesn't take anyone to bowls ("butbutbut we travel decently to good bowls!" Shut up. Roll thick to the Sun Bowl, then you can start complaining about getting passed up), the two big-time bowls will be choosing between Iowa and Michigan State.
What's in my wallet? A couple receipts and an expired condom. Why do you ask? The Capital One Bowl has the first pick after the BCS is done plucking their usual two teams from the SEC. The no-brainer pick here is Georgia, the only remaining SEC team to win six conference games. Georgia is tough up front on both sides of the ball, and Knowshon Moreno, while No Shonn Greene, is still really damn good. Also, Matt Stafford can make any throw on the field, especially to his cadre of freakishly athletic wideouts.
Fortunately, Georgia has a remarkable tendency to shit all over themselves in big games, as evidenced by The Motherfucking Funeral (41-30, not nearly that close) and TWLOCO (49-7, about that close). Their secondary can be torched, and as evidenced by their "tackling" against Georgia Tech, where the Yellow Jackets racked up almost 450 yards of rushing, they can't tackle either. Shonn Greene vs. Georgia Defense = IMMINENT LOL.
So does Iowa really want to face Georgia? Eh, maybe. The Dawgs are beatable--really really beatable if you're Florida--but they're also the only team Iowa could possibly face that has any shot to beat the Hawks by a substantial margin. You don't want to see this season go out on one last sour note for Greene and the seniors. So I'd be fine if the Cap One people went for Michigan State instead and Sparty got absolutely wrecked.
No rules (not even late hits), just right. Then there's the Outback Bowl, which has always been BHGP's favorite bowl game of all time. Its main drawback is the early kickoff time: 10 AM CDT, which is downright criminal after New Year's Eve festivities. And by festivities I mean drinking, cigars, heroin and hookers. Auld Lang Syne straight up in that ass.
The Outback and Cotton Bowls have an interesting setup with the SEC, where the best remaining SEC West team heads to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl, while the SEC East sends its best remaining squad to the Outback. Ole Miss is a prohibitive favorite for the Cotton Bowl, and the "best" candidate for the Outback is 7-5 South Carolina.
South Carolina is not very good. Their four conference wins came against Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas. In other words, decent, shit, shit supreme, and back to regular shit. They barely beat Wofford. Wofford, people. They closed out the season with two road games, at Florida and Clemson, and lost them both by a combined score of 87-20. Iowa's last road game, by comparison, went a little better.
A charitable way to describe South Carolina's offense would be "anemic." I say it's charitable because we omit the words "completely fucking" before it. They rush for under 100 yards a game, and the Ol' Dirty Ballcoach has probably figured out that none of his quarterbacks are, y'know, capable; they've thrown 24 interceptions this year, a fact that probably makes the Iowa secondary giggle. Still, Ol' Dirty is an innovative passing coach, and giving him a month to figure out how to attack the Iowa zone (by which I mean attack the slow white safeties) is worrisome.
Above all, the Cocks don't do anything particularly well, except keep games close against teams not named Florida or Clemson. I would imagine the Hawks would be favored by a touchdown or so, and should win by about twice that much. Bowl season is weird, wild stuff, of course, but Iowa's got a better record than most about showing up to play. We'd be happy with this matchup, of course, just as we've always been happy about the Outback Bowl, the finest bowl in America, sponsored by the finest restaurant chain in the world. Eat at Outback Steakhouse. Every day.