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1 Day to Tempe: Early exits, possible record

[ 0 ] December 26, 2010 |


As the season comes to an end, college football’s top underclassmen face a decision on whether or not to go pro.

It’s a possible distraction, but it’s difficult to tell whether Iowa or Missouri will have an edge.

Tigers quarterback Blaine Gabbert was asked about his future plans during Sunday’s media gathering.

“You’ve just got to look at the best opportunity,” Gabbert said. “And that could be either way. You’ve just got to weigh your options and do what’s best for you.”

Iowa receiver Marvin McNutt was asked if he would return to the Hawkeyes.

“Right now, that’s my focus,” McNutt said, “but you never know what could happen. It’s really a no-comment-type of answer.”

Junior safety Tyler Sash is another Iowa player who might have the option of exiting early.

“The plan right now is to come back,” he said. “Things could change. I’m not sure 100 percent, but the plan right now is to come back.”

The deadline for underclass men to declare for the NFL draft is January 15.

ATTENDANCE RECORD? When the Missouri and Iowa football teams arrived in Tempe last week, neither school had announced a sellout of their ticket allotment. But Insight Bowl officials are still hoping for a record crowd Tuesday.

“We can have a record, without both schools selling their allotments,” bowl spokesman Andy Bagnato said. “We’ve spent a lot of resources, made a lot of efforts to promote the Insight Bowl (locally) this year. It was sort of the focus of our advertizing campaign, both in print and in broadcast.”

The attendance record for the Insight Bowl is 49,385, set in 1997. Bagnato expects more than 50,000 to show up Tuesday.

The stadium holds 56,000.

This year’s game is helped by the number of Iowans who live or vacation in Arizona during the winter, and the fact No. 14 Missouri is the highest ranked team to ever play in the Insight Bowl.

“There’s a lot of Midwesterners here,” Bagnato said. “Even if you’re not a Mizzou alum or an Iowa alum, maybe you like the Big Ten or the Big 12.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Andrew Logue: Andrew has been with the Des Moines Register for 19 years, covering everything from preps to Hawkeye and Cyclone sports, as well as the Drake Relays. View author profile.

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