The Outback Bowl— Raymond James Stadium — Tampa, FL
Iowa (8-4) vs. South Carolina — January 1, 2009 — 11 EST
The Line: South Carolina +4 1/2
While there are qualifications to get into the big BCS Bowls, all teams have to do is finish in a specific spot in their conference and have a "bowl eligible" record to play on New Year's Day—so the significance of the games has been reduced greatly.
While this isn't a bad game, it isn't a good one or much anticipated game either.
Neither of these teams are too attractive on a national level and while I am may seem a little critical here I just think there were a lot better match ups this bowl season that were a lot more deserving of the national spotlight on a day synonymous with big time college football.
Iowa's Kirk Ferentz was on the hot seat but his season and possibly his job was saved by the emergence of running back Shonn Greene. The Hawkeyes started the season at 3-3 but finished strong winning five of their last six including their signature win over a Penn State team many had penciled in for the National Title game.
Will the time off slow down Iowa's momentum?
South Carolina accomplished some team goals this year like ending their losing streak against SEC teams, but they didn't make many strides as far as reaching that next level they hoped to be on by this time. The Gamecocks offense struggled most of the season primarily due to inconsistency at QB.
While South Carolina won seven games, six against D-1 competition, they ended the season by getting blow out two games in a row.
See Mitch's Outback Bowl pick against the spread