Last week’s bowl projections can be found here.
It wasn’t exactly a banner week for the Iowa football squad, as they dropped a home game to Purdue for the first time since 2012. Fortunately for them, they solidified their bowl eligibility in 2017 when they beat Ohio State what feels like ages ago and are guaranteed to be playing in a bowl game this winter thanks to the Big Ten’s deeeeeeeeeeeep bowl roster.
Your reminder on what bowls the Big Ten might play in this year:
- Citrus Bowl (Shared with ACC, SEC, and Notre Dame)
- Orange Bowl (Shared with ACC, SEC, and Notre Dame)
- TaxSlayer Bowl (Shared with ACC, SEC, and Notre Dame)
- Music City Bowl (Shared with ACC, SEC, and Notre Dame)
- Outback Bowl (vs. SEC)
- Holiday Bowl (vs. Pac-12)
- Pinstripe Bowl (vs. ACC)
- Foster Farms (vs. Pac-12)
- Heart of Dallas Bowl (vs. Big 12)
- Quick Lane (vs. ACC)
Of course, Iowa cannot play in the TaxSlayer Bowl or Outback Bowl this season, essentially guaranteeing that they’ll be headed somewhere new. With all that said, let’s see where college football’s major publications have the Hawks playing.
SB Nation: Pinstripe Bowl vs. Boston College Eagles
Last Week: Pinstripe Bowl vs. Boston College
Well, this is one (of a few) projections that hasn’t changed for Iowa. Boston College beat UConn this past week in order to solidify bowl eligibility and they’ll face off against Syracuse in their final game of the season.
If you’re into defensive slobberknockers and hate offense, you should hope for this one - BC has one of the top defenses in the country and isn’t known for their offense, and you could say the same thing about the Hawkeyes. If any bowl game in 2017 were going to recreate the 2008 Sun Bowl, AKA the greatest game of football ever played, it would probably be this one. That could be pretty entertaining, actually. Count me in!
The Athletic: Pinstripe Bowl vs. Boston College
Last week: Pinstripe Bowl vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
I’m going to take this time to say that last week, I missed a huge opportunity to insert a song into my projections piece. Most outlets had the Hawkeyes likely heading to New York, and I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but there are plenty of songs about New York. “New York, New York,” by Frank Sinatra? “53rd and 3rd” by The Ramones? “New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel would’ve been solid! Well luckily for us all, Iowa is still heavily projected to end their season in the Big Apple, which means I have a chance to redeem myself.
Oh hell yeah. That’s the stuff.
Sporting News: Pinstripe Bowl vs. Virginia Cavaliers
Last week: Pinstripe Bowl vs. Virginia
This one hasn’t changed! Since we last talked about the Cavaliers, they held their own against Miami on the road - including holding a 14 point lead twice - before the ‘Canes pulled away late. Virginia is a tough team, but one I think the Hawkeyes could also hold their own against with a month of preparation.
Stat of note: the Cavaliers score just as much as the Hawks (26 points per game, which is pretty heavily skewed because of the Ohio State and Iowa State games honestly).
Bleacher Report: Pinstripe Bowl vs. Louisville Cardinals
Last week: Pinstripe Bowl vs. Virginia
Despite boasting last year’s Heisman winner in Lamar Jackson, the Cardinals haven’t had a great year and are just 7-4 going into their final game against Kentucky. Like most of the team’s Iowa has a possibility of facing this bowl season, Louisville can put up points in droves - they’re averaging 30 points per game in their losses. Iowa’s neutralized some pretty solid quarterbacks this season, which could give you some hope if you’re an optimistic person.
CBS: Pinstripe Bowl vs. Louisville
Last week: Music City Bowl vs. Missouri
Alright, alright. I’ve thought about my music choice up above and I get it - most of you are probably appalled that I chose a Taylor Swift song. I’m not even remotely sorry, but please allow me to attempt to make up for it with another song.
Alicia Keys fixes everything so I hope you all forgive me. [Editor’s note: all is not forgiven.]
Sports Illustrated: Foster Farms Bowl vs. Washington Huskies
Last week: Music City Bowl vs. Texas A&M Aggies
If this game were to happen, it would undoubtedly have the most lopsided spread (and probably final score) of every single game this bowl season. Let’s take a look at the teams - you have Iowa on one side of it, who we all know too much about at this point, and then you have Washington, a 9-2 team who is currently ranked #17 in the most recent iteration of the College Football Playoff rankings and is probably woefully under-ranked.
I guess this is a caveat of having so many prestigious bowls at your disposal, Big Ten. Fun fact: Bleacher Report has Washington playing this weekend’s winner in the Indiana/Purdue game. Seriously, who in their right mind would want this bowl game to happen?
USA Today: Foster Farms Bowl vs. Washington State Cougars
Last week: Foster Farms Bowl vs. Washington State
You know all that stuff I said about playing Washington? It’s all pretty much as true if you’re talking about their rival out east, except Wazzu is actually ranked 13th. Even more fearsome? The Cougs have Mike Leach and I don’t want to know what he could do against an Iowa team with a month of preparation because he’s an evil genius masquerading as a philosopher.
The former Iowa Wesleyan coach was also once pulled over in small town Iowa and is probably looking for revenge, right? Pass.
ESPN: Music City Bowl vs. Missouri Tigers/South Carolina Gamecocks
Last week: Foster Farms Bowl vs. Washington or Washington State
Kyle Bonagura has Iowa playing Missouri, who has rattled off five consecutive wins to earn their bowl eligibility in 2017, albeit against pretty weak competition. The Tigers play Bret Bielema and Arkansas in Week 13, which means they could conceivably end the season 7-5 after starting 1-5. That’s nothing short of miraculous.
David Hale, obviously, has them playing South Carolina. Did you have any idea that the Gamecocks were 8-3 this season? I didn’t. That’s pretty wild. I’m not sure how I feel about this potential matchup. They haven’t exactly beaten anyone worthwhile in 2017, but they haven’t been blown out in any of their three losses, either.