It would be easy for many Iowa Hawkeye fans to believe the return of injured QB Ricky Stanzi in the Fiesta Bowl v Boise State means something for their chances to win.
In fact, it means nothing.
Whether Stanzi returns from a nasty ankle sprain or not, the Hawks are are clearly overmatched at virtually every position by the talent-rich Broncos. In fact, the 2010 Fiesta Bowl has the makings of this year's big BCS blowout game. This will undoubtedly be the first BCS game in which a team from a non-AQ conference is listed as the favorite. And rightfully so:
The Big 10 is just 8-11 in BCS bowl games since it's inception in 1999, second worse of the six BCS conferences. In fact, Big 10 BCS 'at large' teams are just 4-5 overall with three of those wins by Ohio State. The conference has been outscored 270-215 in at-large BCS bowls since 1999.
Be grateful the Hawkeyes didn't win the Big 10 as the conference is 0-6 in it's last six Rose Bowl appearances, having been badly outscored 219-134.
Additionally alarming is the Houdini-like qualities this team needed to display in dispensing of powerhouse teams like Northern Iowa (17-16), Arkansas State (24-21), Michigan State (15-13) and Michigan (30-28). Heck, even cellar-dwelling Indiana gave the Hawkeyes a scare, at home, and led by 10 in the 4th quarter before imploding.
Parity has clearly taken over in college football and this year's benefactor is the 2009 Iowa Hawkeyes. Wake me up when Boise QB Kellen Moore is raising the MVP trophy.