The Iowa Hawkeyes have been chosen to play in the Taxslayer Bowl on Friday, January 2, 2014 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. The Hawkeyes will face the Tennessee Volunteers. Kickoff is set for 2:20 CT, with television coverage on ESPN. Tennessee's appointment was confirmed by the SEC on Sunday afternoon.
Tennessee finished 6-6 overall and 3-5 in the SEC. They are making their first bowl appearance since a 2010 trip to the Music City Bowl. Coach Butch Jones is in his second season on Rocky Top, having taken over for Derek Dooley. Tennessee's season looked a lot like Iowa's, full of modest-at-best wins and closer-than-expected losses to better SEC teams. The Vols went 0-5 against ranked opposition, and their best win was probably a double overtime victory over South Carolina. There was some improvement when the offense went to sophomore quarterback Joshua Dobbs in November, but that could be more due to opposition than anything Dobbs was doing.
The Taxslayer Bowl is the new version of the Gator Bowl. Iowa has not played in the Gator Bowl since December 1983, when Hayden Fry's No. 10 Hawkeyes lost to No. 11 Florida 14-6. Kirk Ferentz has a 6-5 record in bowl games, but Iowa has not won a bowl championship since a 2010 win over Missouri in the Insight Bowl.