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Iowa is going to a New Year's Six Bowl if they win out. Hell, they may even go to one if they don't win out. The question is, where?

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It's getting to the point where it's tough for me to temper my HOMERSOTA and can no longer deny that Iowa is likely headed to the Rose or another NY6 bowl. My reasoning is based upon the following:

  • Iowa will likely be favored in all of its remaining games.
  • Maryland is a bad football team.
  • Indiana fields a bunch of already tipped over traffic cones on defense.
  • Calling Minnesota's offense one dimensional is a compliment.
  • This isn't your father's Nebraska.

Obviously, simply being favored isn't going to win you a football game. There are two rivalry games remaining on the schedule (albeit, one manufactured) and Indiana's offense is not to be toyed with. But if Iowa doesn't look past any opponent, which they have yet to do this season, finishing undefeated is a very real possibility. If Iowa finishes undefeated you have to look at the East.

In the East, Ohio State seems to be the favorite. They're undefeated and get the only other undefeated team, Michigan State, at home. Whoever wins that game plays in the Big Ten Championship (assuming they win the remainder of their games). If Ohio State finishes undefeated and beats Iowa in the Big Ten Championship, they'll likely be the #1 seed in the College Football Playoff. If Michigan State wins and wins the Big Ten Championship they'll be a Playoff team but probably won't be the #1 seed.

I have both Ohio State and Iowa finishing the season undefeated, Ohio State beating Iowa in the Big Ten Championship game and Michigan State finishing 11-1. This would put Ohio State in the Playoff and Iowa and Michigan State in a NY6 bowl. Columnists, TV personalities and Twitter heroes can complain as much as they want about Iowa's schedule but if the Hawkeyes finish 11-1 with their only loss coming to the best team in America, there's no logical argument for them to be kept out of the New Year's Six.

If that scenario plays out the Rose will have the decision to make about whether or not they want Iowa or Michigan State. For some reason, I think they'll go with Michigan State. The Fiesta will then pick a pseudo Rose Bowl matchup and go with the two runner ups in the Big 10/Pac 12. That means the Peach will pick the closer teams in Florida State and Memphis.

Wisconsin should win out and finish 10-2, Nebraska should at least go 6-6, Illinois will make a bowl somehow and there shouldn't be any other surprises. Speaking of surprises, Minnesota. Are they going to be favored in any games down the line? Illinois? I think Illinois is actually going to beat them. I'm sorry, Goldy. It isn't personal. (It totally is)

The Rules:

  • Four teams are chosen for the College Football Playoff.
  • Six bowls rotate for the semifinals: Rose, Sugar, Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, and Peach.
  • The bowls hosting the semifinals this year are the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl.
  • As the Rose Bowl is not hosting a semi-final, it will select the Big Ten Champion. However, if the Big Ten Champion is a playoff team, the Rose Bowl will select a Big Ten replacement.
  • 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 (aside from the Pinstripe, which is an eight-year contract). Per the terms of that contract, the bowls are to select at least five different Big Ten schools over six years.
  • The non-playoff bowl games are informally broken down into three tiers. Tier 1: Holiday, Citrus and Outback. Tier 2: Pinstripe, Music City/TaxSlayer and Foster Farms. Tier 3: Quick Lane and Heart of Dallas/Armed Forces.
  • Over a six-year agreement, signed in 2013, the Big Ten and ACC must appear in three Music City and three TaxSlayer Bowls.
  • Over a six-year agreement, signed in 2013, the Big Ten and Big 12 must appear in three Heart of Dallas and three Armed Forces Bowls. In 2015 the Big 10 will play in the Armed Forces Bowl.

Bowl Projections:

Last 2 Matchups

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX


Clemson (2) v. LSU (3)

MSU v. Baylor
Okie State v. Mizzou

Capital One Orange Bowl
Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL


Ohio State (1) v. Baylor (4)

Miss St. v. G-Tech
Ohio State v. Clemson

Allstate Sugar Bowl
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, NOLA


TCU v. Alabama
Big 12 v. SEC

Ohio State v. Alabama
OU v. Alabama

Rose Bowl Game
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA


Michigan State v. Utah
Big 10 v. Pac-12

Oregon v. FSU
MSU v. Stanford

Fiesta Bowl
U of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ


Iowa v. Stanford
At-Large v. At-Large

Boise State v. Arizona
UCF v. Baylor

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
Georgia Dome, ATL, GA


Notre Dame v. Memphis
At-Large v. At-Large

TCU v. Ole Miss
Texas A&M v. Duke

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL


Wisconsin v. Texas A&M
Big 10 v. SEC

Minnesota v. Mizzou
Wisconsin v. SCar

Outback Bowl
Raymond James, Tampa, FL


Michigan v. Ole Miss
Big 10 v. SEC

Wisconsin v. Auburn
Iowa v. LSU

National University Holiday Bowl
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA


Penn State v. ASU
Big 10 v. Pac-12

Nebraska v. USC

TaxSlayer/Music City Bowl
EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL or
Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN


Nebraska v. Auburn
Big 10/ACC v. SEC

Iowa v. Tennessee*
Nebraska v. Georgia

Foster Farms Bowl
Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA


Northwestern v. UCLA
Big 10 v. Pac-12

Maryland v. Stanford

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Yankee Stadium, NY, NY


Illinois v. Georgia Tech
Big 10 v. ACC

Penn State v. BC
Notre Dame v. Rutgers

Quick Lane Bowl
Ford Field, Detroit, MI


Indiana v. Louisville
Big 10 v. ACC

Rutgers v. UNC

Armed Forces Bowl
AGC Stadium, Fort Worth, TX


MTSU v. Air Force
Big 10 v. MWC

New Bowl

* - Last 2 refers to appearances in the TaxSlayer Bowl.