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It's taken going 12-0 but finally: WHY NOT IOWA?!

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

I apologize for leaving you without some bowl projections to step to, but ZOMG we're down to the penultimate week of the regular college football season and the Championship games will determine three of the four College Football Playoff spots. As the top 10 stands now:

  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Iowa
  5. Michigan State
  6. Ohio State
  7. Stanford
  8. Notre Dame
  9. Florida State
  10. North Carolina

If all goes to plan and Clemson and Alabama win their conferences, the winner of the Big Ten Championship game will take the fourth spot with Oklahoma in third. And if they don't? Well... Florida is ranked 18th and UNC is at 10th so losses by either team could keep their conferences out of the Playoff. But what position does that put the committee in? Just move the next two up? Give the loser of the Big Ten Championship game a spot simply because they're still ranked so high?

That would leave something like Oklahoma, Iowa/Michigan State, Ohio State and Stanford. Two Big Ten teams in the Playoff and no SEC? Paul Finebaum might just up and move to Jeddah.

Regardless of how the championship games play out, it's looking like three Big Ten teams will get into New Year's Six Bowls. That's the good news.

The bad news is that the Big Ten will also field at least one team with a losing record in a bowl game and could field up to three. Per ESPN, at least two bowls will need teams with losing records and after this weekend they could need up to five. The contingency plan in this scenario is to pick teams with the highest APR and Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas State, Minnesota, San Jose State, Illinois and Rice are the top seven teams.

Missouri has already refused to seek a bowl bid, meaning Illinois would slip into the top 5. At the very least I believe that Nebraska and Minnesota will go bowling. Practices, money and exposure aren't something a team is going to turn down. I'm also of the belief that Illinois will slip in as they're a more attractive selection than San Jose State and Rice.

So, congratulations, everyone. We finally have way too many bowl games. IS THIS WHAT YOU WANTED?

For Iowa, it's simple: Win and go to the Playoff. Lose and it gets complicated because it's entirely up to the Committee. We keep on being told that the Rose Bowl is going to select the highest ranked Big Ten team. So does Iowa slide behind Ohio State with a loss? Will the Committee keep Iowa ahead of the Buckeyes solely to make sure Iowa gets the Rose? Or will they do the exact opposite? What if Iowa wins? Why should Ohio State get to go to the Rose Bowl when Sparty beat them? So many questions.

I can only project that...

I'm all in on Iowa.

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


Alabama (2) v. Oklahoma(3)

MSU v. Baylor
Okie State v. Mizzou

Capital One Orange Bowl
Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL


Clemson (1) v. Iowa (4)

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

Allstate Sugar Bowl
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, NOLA


TCU v. Ole Miss
Big 12 v. SEC

Ohio State v. Alabama
OU v. Alabama

Rose Bowl Game
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA


Ohio State v. Stanford
Big 10 v. Pac-12

Oregon v. FSU
MSU v. Stanford

Fiesta Bowl
U of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ


Michigan State v. Notre Dame
At-Large v. At-Large

Boise State v. Arizona
UCF v. Baylor

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


Florida State v. Houston
At-Large v. At-Large

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

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL


Michigan v. Florida
Big 10 v. SEC

Minnesota v. Mizzou
Wisconsin v. SCar

Outback Bowl
Raymond James, Tampa, FL


Northwestern v. Tennessee
Big 10 v. SEC

Wisconsin v. Auburn
Iowa v. LSU

National University Holiday Bowl
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA


Wisconsin v. Utah
Big 10 v. Pac-12

Nebraska v. USC

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


Penn State v. Georgia
Big 10/ACC v. SEC

Iowa v. Tennessee*
Nebraska v. Georgia

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


Indiana v. USC
Big 10 v. Pac-12

Maryland v. Stanford

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Yankee Stadium, NY, NY


Nebraska v. Miami
Big 10 v. ACC

Penn State v. BC
Notre Dame v. Rutgers

Quick Lane Bowl
Ford Field, Detroit, MI


Minnesota v. Virginia Tech
Big 10 v. ACC

Rutgers v. UNC

Armed Forces Bowl
AGC Stadium, Fort Worth, TX


Illinois v. Air Force
Big 10 v. MWC

New Bowl

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