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Five for Friday: Favorite Bowl Game Memories

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To get you ready for tonight, what are your favorite bowl games from the past?

Capital One Bowl
Warren “Freaking” Holloway!
Photo by Matt Stroshane/Getty Images

With all the animosity between groups out there, and no I’m not talking Democrats and Republicans, I wanted to try something out where everyone is always correct.

On Fridays, I will throw out a topic asking for your top five in whatever the conversation is that week. I’ll give my opinion and then read your choices in the comment section. We’ll keep this going as long as there is some participation.

As these are your (or my) opinions, we can’t be wrong so just have fun with the topic.

The first week was a success as people discussed their favorite Hawkeye basketball players of their lifetime. The next week highlighted Christmas gift ideas and was followed by the bonus week were we discussed Christmas movies and the Hawkeye coaching Mt. Rushmore.

Five for Friday

Tonight is Iowa vs. USC in the Holiday Bowl. Iowa has played in 33 bowls over the years and are 16-16-1 in those games. Tell us your favorite bowl games and why.

My Five for Friday

My five bowl games, listed below in reverse order, are all from games that resulted in an Iowa victory. C.J. Jones running back the opening kick against USC in the 2003 Orange Bowl would have been one of my top five plays in a bowl game but the rest of that game depressed me so no way is it in my top five.

Additionally, I wasn’t around for the Rose Bowl victories in the 1950s, so those games are out as well. That leaves me with 14 wins to choose from and here is what I came up with.

  • 1986 Holiday Bowl (Iowa 39, San Diego State 38): While Iowa was the team that was supposedly more athletic and tough, the Aztecs gave the Hawkeyes all they could handle out in San Diego. It took a furious Hawkeye comeback to erase a 14 point second half deficit only to see SDSU take the lead with a field goal with under a minute remaining. Not to be denied, Iowa’s Kevin Harmon returned the kickoff 48 yards to setup a Rob Houghtlin 41 yard field goal to win as time expired.
  • 1984 Freedom Bowl (Iowa 55, Texas 17): This is one of the first bowl games that I can recall. Chuck Long came out throwing the ball all over the field against a supposedly superior and more athletic Longhorn team (sound like a familiar mantra in Iowa bowl games?). Long threw for 461 yards and six touchdowns in the inaugural Freedom Bowl. Iowa scored 34 unanswered points to blow open a close 21-17 game. I think at the time I remember thinking that Iowa would win the national title in 1985 when Long was a senior.
  • 2004 Outback Bowl (Iowa 37, Florida 17): What I remember most about this game is that it was against a former Iowa recruiting target Chris Leak. Leak and the Gators hit big on an opening drive and it looked like it could be a long day for the good guys but Iowa then scored the next 27 points to make it a laugher. Running back Fred Russell was named the MVP with 150 yards rushing and the Iowa defense held Florida to just 57 rushing yards on the day led by Abdul Hodges and friends.
  • 2010 Orange Bowl (Iowa 24, Georgia Tech 14): I was at this game in Miami and remember it not being nearly as warm as I would have liked and that I think I set a record for most tailgating without using a port-a-potty. The other thing I remember is that the Yellow Jacket fans weren’t very friendly. They were ranked in the top ten before the game and I believe they thought it was beneath them to have to play Iowa. They were right, they didn’t deserve to play Iowa, the Hawks were much too good. The Iowa defense led by Adrian Clayborn and Pat Angerer held down the might GT rushing attack to lead Iowa to the win.
  • 2005 Capital One Bowl (Iowa 30, LSU 25): I was at this game with my brother as well and we were seated in a mix of Iowa and LSU fans. It was pretty cordial as the game was fairly back-and-forth through the first 3.5 quarters. Once LSU took the lead with under a minute remaining, a small group of Tiger fans became a little arrogant and assholeyish. After the miracle of Tate to Holloway, after we were done celebrating and giving high fives to all the Hawk fans, our LSU friends were mysteriously gone. Sweet, sweet redemption. Besides the amazing finish, the weather the entire trip was wonderful in Orlando and the Tiger fans were a fun group leading up to the game. Whether it’s their southern nature or they just assumed that they would curb-stomp Iowa, it was fun to interact. Though it was a bit difficult at times to understand their Cajun dialect the more they drank!

There you have it, my top five Iowa bowl games. Let me know your favorites.

Go Hawks! Beat USC!