Iowa football: Nine Big Ten teams goes bowling, Hawks going to Outback

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - NOVEMBER 03: Nate Stanley #4 of the Iowa Hawkeyes runs the ball during the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium on November 3, 2018 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - NOVEMBER 03: Nate Stanley #4 of the Iowa Hawkeyes runs the ball during the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium on November 3, 2018 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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The Iowa football team accepted an invitation to the Outback Bowl yesterday. They are joined by eight other Big Ten teams playing in postseason bowl games.

It’s honestly a relief to finally know where the Iowa football team will playing at this holiday season because for the last two months, we have been trying to project the potential bowl game with apparently no success.

When the Hawks were 6-1, it looked like a College Football Playoff game or the Rose Bowl was in their future. After three straight losses, it seemed like the Hawks were heading to the Red Box Bowl, and even after closing the season out with two straight victories, most assumed the Iowa football team was heading to the Holiday Bowl. It made logical sense considering the Big Ten’s agreements with their bowl games to try to have different teams each year, and the fact that the Hawks were in the Outback Bowl just two years ago, yet hadn’t been to the Holiday Bowl since the early 90’s.

In the end though, Iowa football fan’s reputation preceded them and the Outback Bowl jumped at another opportunity to host the Hawkeyes and their fan base in Tampa Bay this holiday season. Ironically enough, the team that the Hawkeyes jumped over to take their expected spot in the Outback Bowl, was none other than Northwestern, who beat Iowa earlier this season 14-10 at Kinnick. These two teams essentially swapped spots with Northwestern now heading to the Holiday Bowl.

The team Northwestern lost to in the Big Ten Championship game, Ohio State, received the honors of representing the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl against the #9 Washington Huskies. Rounding out the Big Tens inclusion in the top four bowls (excluding CFP Bowls) is Michigan as they take on Florida in the Peach Bowl on December 29.

Penn State, another team Iowa lost to, will be fighting Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl, which was a dark horse contender to host the Hawks had Penn State managed to squeeze their way into one of the four premier bowls.

The remaining Big Ten affiliated bowls are as follows:

  • Redbox Bowl: Michigan State vs Oregon
  • Music City Bowl: Purdue vs Auburn
  • Quick Lane Bowl: Minnesota vs Georgia Tech
  • Pinstripe Bowl: Wisconsin vs Miami

Although for the last three months, I have been rooting heavily against certain Big Ten teams in hopes that the Iowa football team could find a spot in the Big Ten Championship game, with the regular season concluded, it’s time for Big Ten teams everywhere to be united.

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It’s a great look for the conference when the majority of Big Ten teams do well in bowl season, and with a win, the Hawks have the opportunity to salvage a once-promising season.