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Dallas? Albuquerque? Let the bowl destination speculation begin

[ 18 ] November 13, 2011 |

IOWA CITY, Ia. — It’s the prelude to Silly Season, where college football fans guess their favorite team’s bowl destination. It’s not as crazy as the silliness when fans run rampant with rumors about this coach going here and that coach going there, but it’s close.

Less than 24 hours after Iowa realistically fell out of Big Ten Conference championship game contention thanks to a 37-21 loss against Michigan State at Kinnick Stadium, sbnation.com had the Hawkeyes headed to the Jan. 2 TicketCity Bowl, which is played at the Cotton Bowl, and collegefootballnews.com had them as an at-large team in the Dec. 17 New Mexico Bowl.

Realistically, TicketCity … a.k.a. Dallas … is a likely destination for Iowa, with records of 3-3 in the conference and 6-4 overall heading into Saturday’s 11 a.m. game at Purdue. The Hawkeyes finish the regular season Nov. 25 at Nebraska.

“We’d jump at them if they’re on the board when it’s our turn to pick.,” TicketCity Bowl president Tom Starr said Sunday. “I met with a group of Iowa fans (in Dallas) a couple weeks ago, and they’re excited.

“There are at least four large Iowa groups in Dallas that get together to watch Iowa on television, so yes, there’s a lot of interest down here in Iowa.”

Starr, from Newton, has degrees from both Iowa and Iowa State.

“The TigerHawk logo is one of the most famous logos in college football,” Starr said. “It not just a statewide thing, it a national thing.

Plausible bowl scenarios are just beginning to form, but if picks were made today, here’s a somewhat logical look — assuming the Big Ten sends just one team into the BCS:

Rose Bowl (3:30 p.m. Jan. 2 in Pasadena, Calif.): Winner of the championship game, and as of now, it’s either Michigan State or Penn State.

Capital One Bowl (Noon Jan. 2 in Orlando, Fla.): Championship game loser.

Outback Bowl (Noon Jan. 2 Tampa, Fla.): Wisconsin (again, going by today’s standings).

Insight Bowl (9 p.m. Dec. 30 in Tempe, Ariz.): Nebraska or Michigan.

Gator Bowl (Noon Jan. 2 in Jacksonville, Fla.): Nebraska or Michigan.

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (11 a.m. Dec. 31 in Houston): Iowa or Ohio State.

TicketCity Bowl (11 a.m. Jan. 2 in Dallas): Iowa or Ohio State.

Little Caesars Bowl (3:30 p.m. Dec. 27 in Detroit): Illinois.

The Big Ten has eight bowls, counting the BCS Rose Bowl, and there are eight bowl-eligible Big Ten teams heading into the final two weekends of the regular season. Northwestern can reach the six-win total needed to be postseason-eligible, as can Purdue.

Translated: “We’ve got two more games left,” Iowa safety Jordan Bernstine said. “We can’t lose twice.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Randy Peterson: Randy Peterson covers college football, college basketball and the Iowa Cubs for the Des Moines Register. Randy can be reached at randypeterson@dmreg.com or on Twitter via @RandyPete View author profile.

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