Georgia Tech: Year in Review - Week 3

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Georgia Tech at Miami
Result: Loss 17-33
Record: 2-1 (1-1)
Ranking: Not ranked
YouTube: Highlights
ESPN360: Watch Game

Box:

1234Final
MIA7
10
16
0
33
GT3
0
7
7
17

Key Stats:
  • 4th Down: GT - 0/2
  • Rushing Attempts: GT - 39, MIA - 39
  • Rushing: GT - 95 yards, MIA - 184 yards
  • Passing: MIA Jacody Harris - 20 of 25 for 270 yards, 3 TD and 0 INT
Key Plays:
  • 1st quarter: After giving up a field goal on the first drive, Miami's offense responds with a 36-yard pass followed by a 40-yard TD pass from Jacory Harris.
  • 2nd quarter: Georgia Tech misses and 39 yard field goal, and Miami comes back and hits a 34-yarder to make the score 17-3.
  • 3rd quarter: After GT scores a touchdown to put the game 10-24, Miami returns the kickoff 40 yards setting up score that puts the game away.
Summary:
Georgia Tech got absolutely man-handled in this game. Jacory Harris put on a clinic and finished with a QB rating of 210.32. Harris completed 80% of his passes and hit 9 different receivers. Tech was unable to stop Miami's offense all day. Miami only punted 1 time and the only other thing that stopped them was a couple of missed field goals.

Georgia Tech also struggled on offense. The 95 rushing yards was a season low and they only held the ball for 26 minutes. Tech gained 45 yards on the first drive but then only real production came from a couple of long passes to Thomas.

Miami provided a formula to beat Georgia Tech. The first part is to score early and build a lead. With the run, run, run nature of the Yellow Jacket's offense makes it hard for them to come back from large deficits. Also, Miami's domination in time of possession limited GT to just 8 possessions. Miami also got great penetration from the defensive line. Miami had 10 tackles for loss. The negative plays completely kill Georgia Tech's offensive plan and forces them to pass.

Georgia Tech: Year in Review - Week 2

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Georgia Tech vs. Clemson
Result: Win 30-27
Record: 2-0 (1-0)
Ranking: 14/13 (AP/Coaches)
YouTube: Highlights
ESPN360: Watch Game

Box:

1234Final
CLM0714
6
27
GT21
3
0630

Key Stats:
  • Rushing: GT Anthony Allen - 5 rushes for 127 yards
  • All Purpose: CLM C.J. Spiller - 234 all purpose yards
  • Total Offense: GT - 418, CLM - 386
Key Plays:
  • 1st quarter: Tarrant returns a punt 85-yards for a TD. GT up 14-0.
  • 2nd quarter: Down 24-0, C.J. Spiller catches a 63-yard pass on a wheel route to score Clemson's first points.
  • 3rd quarter: On 3rd and 7, Clemson continues its comeback with a 77 yard bomb down the middle of the field to put the score 24-21.
  • 4th quarter: Nesbitt completes a 39 yard pass on 3rd and 11 to Demaryius Thomas with less than 2 minutes to go setting up the game winning field goal.
Summary:
Georgia Tech came out on fire for the second straight week. After trading a couple of quick possessions, Tech rattled off an 82-yard TD run, followed by an 85-yard punt return for a TD, followed by an interception that set up a 3rd TD on a fake field goal (which was illegal)and a 21-0 lead with 3 minutes left in the 1st quarter.

Things then slowed way down for Georgia Tech who struggled on 3rd down all game long (just 3 of 14). This allowed Clemson to rattle off 27 straight points behind a couple of big pass plays and some steady drives resulting in field goals.

With the game on the line though, and trailing by 3, Tech mustered 2 more field goal drives in the 4th quarter. The game winning field goal came with just 1 minute left and the defense held Clemson to 4 straight incomplete passes to end the game and left one Clemson fan disgusted.

Georgia Tech: Year in Review - Week 1

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Georgia Tech vs. Jacksonville State
Result: Win 37-17
Record: 1-0 (0-0)
Ranking: 15/13 (AP/Coaches)
YouTube: Highlights
ESPN360: Watch Game

Box:

1234Final
JVST0701017
GT17140637

Key Stats:
  • 3rd down: GT - 8/12, JVST - 6/15
  • Total yards: GT - 497, JVST - 291
  • Yards per pass: GT - 13.5, JVST - 5.1
  • Yards per rush: GT - 6.7, JVST - 3.0
  • Fumbles: GT - 5, JVST - 1
Key Plays:
  • 1st quarter: Dwyer 74-yard TD run (7-0)
  • 1st quarter: Fumbled kick off recovered by GT on JVST 23 yardline (7-0)
  • 2nd quarter: Pass intercepted by Burnett after JVST drive down to 22 yardline (17-0)
  • 2nd quarter: Jax State pulls out the flea-flicker and scores from 20 yards out (17-7)
  • 2nd quarter: Tarrant returns a punt 64 yards for a TD before halftime (31-7)
Summary:
This game was practically over before it started. Jonathan Dwyer took an option pitch and ran straight down the field 74 yard completely untouched on the first play of the game. The very next play, Jacksonville State gave the ball back fumbling on the kickoff return. Tech kicked a field goal and went up 10-0. By the end of the 1st quarter it was 17-0 and by the end of the half it was 31-7. Georgia Tech backed things off and had a couple of turnovers later in the game and eventually pulled the starters allowing Jax State to put up 10 late points making the game look a little closer than it was.

It was hardly a clean game by the Yellow Jackets, however. They fumbled the ball 5 times, a problem they would have throughout the season (34 fumbles on the year). They also had 8 penalties and struggled at times on defense giving up 20 first downs.

Fight For Iowa more mobile

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Merry day-after-Christmas! Hopefully everyone had a nice holiday and got some exciting gifts. In response to my shiny new iPod Touch (and my hours of surfing the internet on it instead of my laptop sitting 2 feet away) I've decided to revisit the mobile version of Fight For Iowa. It's not a great site, but it is much easier to read on your phone than the main blog. Anyway, here's a link to the site again: http://fightforiowa.mofuse.mobi/ (there's also a "Go Mobile" link in the top right box on the main blog). Be sure to bookmark it on your phone, or for iPhone/iPod Touch users add it to your Home Screen. I even put the little logo there so it has a nice icon to click.

Commit for 2010: Kevonte Martin-Manley

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The Hawkeyes picked up their first commit in 3 weeks over the weekend. Wide receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley, previously committed to Bowling Green, made the switch and will be wearing black and gold next year. Kevonte is the first true receiver (Shumpert is a receiver/athlete) in the 2010 class and is rated 2-stars by both Scout and Rivals.

High School:
Kevonte is a senior at Brother Rice High School (click the link and check out those sweet flames as your mouse pointer!!) in Michigan. The Warriors finished the year 8-5, losing to the state champion, Lowell High School in the semi-finals in the Michigan Division II playoffs. As a senior, Kevonte had 43 catches for 745 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also was a good returnman finishing the year with 12 punt returns for 199 yards and 14 kickoff returns for 314 yards.

His performance earned him several post-season honors including: Detroit New All-Metro North First Team and and Division 1-2 All-State Michigan Honorable Mention.

Video:

Kevonte certainly shows his speed in the video. Most of the highlights he just flat out runs right by the defender and is wide open. He also shows his good hands with a few catches in traffic and the ability to adjust to the ball in the air. I expect him to red-shirt next year as there are a lot of talented receivers in front on him returning (DJK, McNutt, Davis), but I definitely think he will be a contributor early in his career. He looks like he has the tools to be a good possession receiver.

My Thoughts on Big Ten Expansion

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This was a hot topic about a week ago and I totally missed the boat. I'm sure you won't mind seeing one more opinion on it though, right? Plus, I have a different view point than most of the posts I've read on the topic (all anybody is talking about is what teams they think would be a good fit for the Big Ten)...I am anti-expansion, so-much-so that I'm actually for contraction (that's the opposite of expansion, right?).

First off, my thought process is strictly from a football fan prospective. I'm not thinking about how much money the Big Ten would make with a championship game, or how the other sports would work out, and especially not about academics. I just want to see some good Big Ten football.

My Plan:
The conference is named the Big Ten, so why not go back to ten teams? My vote is to drop Northwestern, and I think you could make a good case that they don't really fit the mold of a Big Ten team, but it's mostly because I don't like them. Anyway, so we drop Northwestern and then have 10 teams. Now the league could take on the Pac-10 model and play a round-robin every year.

A clear champion-
One of the main arguments against the Big Ten set up now, is that a clear conference champion does not always emerge (a la Iowa and Ohio State both 8-0 in 2002). A round-robin does not completely eliminate the chance of a co-championship. But, it does mean a few things that help alleviate the issue:
  1. If a team goes undefeated in conference, then it wins the conference (and that's a good rule)!
  2. There will never be a dispute between 2 teams, because the head-to-head result would be take care of that.
Of course a 3 team tie is possible and could get messy if you have A beat B, B beat C, and C beat A type of deal. However, a 3-way tie is possible and has happened in the 12-team championship game model (last year's Big 12 South is a good example) and in the current Big Ten system, so this is a problem in any system. Also, though it's only been 4 years, a 3-way tie has not happened in the Pac-10 since they went to a round-robin schedule. A good tie-breaker rule just needs to be in place for 3 way ties.

A fair and balanced schedule-
The Big 12 is a perfect example of unbalanced schedules (except for maybe this year when the whole conference kind of sucked). Is it really fair that the Big 12 North champ gets to cruise through a bunch of creampuffs while the Big 12 South champ has a very difficult schedule, yet they both get to play in the championship game? The Big Ten also has this problem with the current set up. Iowa had Ohio State and Michigan both off of the schedule for a couple years making the schedule easier than a team that had to play both (maybe this isn't a great example because Michigan was really bad one of those years and Iowa failed to capitalize on the easier schedule, but you get my point). A round-robin would make the conference schedule as fair as it can.

Less pointless non-conference matchups-
Yeah, yeah...Appalachian State beat Michigan....UNI almost beat Iowa. I know. But aren't we all tired of seeing these games the whole month of September? If the conference schedule was 9 games that would just leave 3 non-conference games. That should eliminate one creampuff from the equation. Ideally teams would adopt the approach of having 1 mid-major matchup, 1 non-conference rival/in-state matchup, then one BCS matchup (for example, Iowa's non-conference could be: Ball State, Iowa State, and Arizona).

Conference championship game can mean less teams in BCS games-
Of course the winner goes to a BCS game, but when a conference has a championship game it diminishes it's odds of getting in 2 teams (and I liked seeing 2 Big Ten teams in the BCS). In fact, the loser of a championship game has only played in a BCS game 3 times ever and all 3 teams were undefeated going into the championship game. Two of those times were the loser of the Florida/Alabama game these past two year. The other was when Oklahoma somehow made in into the title game back in 2004 despite losing to Kansas State. If you look at the Big Ten compared to conferences that have a championship game, the Big Ten has more teams to make BCS game than any other conference.
  • Big Ten - 21 teams
  • Big 12 - 17 teams
  • SEC - 19 teams
Thinking back, how many times would have only one team got in if a championship game had been played? Let's just look back 5 years. For this exercise I'm splitting the top teams (the rest don't really matter) into 2 divisions. Div 1: Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois; Div 2: Iowa, Penn State, Wisconsin
  • 2009 - Ohio State vs. Iowa: The winner and Penn State would both be headed to BCS games, so no drop off here.
  • 2008 - Ohio State vs. Penn State: A Penn State win and OSU would likely drop out of the BCS. PSU would still probably make a BCS game with a loss, though.
  • 2007 - Ohio State vs. Wisconsin: This is the year 9-3 Illinois went to the Rose Bowl, so the Big Ten probably would have had 2 either way.
  • 2006 - Ohio State vs. Wisconsin: OSU goes to a BCS game either way, but a loss knocks them out of the Title game and also puts Wisconsin in a BCS game instead of Michigan.
  • 2005 - Ohio State vs. Penn State: The loser probably doesn't make it to a BCS game.
Late season exposure-
The Big Ten's problem of having no games (besides pointless Illinois losses) played the last to weeks of the season could easily be resolved with out a championship game. Just put a couple of bye weeks into the schedule (like the Pac-10 and Big East) and voila, there the Big Ten is still in spotlight. This works especially well when you save marquee matchups until the end of the season. Ohio State vs. Michigan in December would still draw a big crowd.

Conclusion:
The Big Ten will probably expand one of these days because financially (which is probably the biggest factor driving the Big Ten bigwigs' decision) it makes sense. And when that happens and Iowa makes its first conference championship game, I'll probably be ecstatic and saying its the best thing ever. But for now, I'm sticking with my hopes for a 10 team conference.

I think my kid needs this for Christmas

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I was looking around for some Iowa related Christmas presents and stumbled upon Baby Hawkeye, a DVD that "uses officially licensed footage of Hawkeye sports, mascot, marching band and campus attractions to expose children to The University of Iowa in an exciting, playful and educational manner." I can't think of a more educational video out there or a better lesson to teach the children.

Post Season Awards

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Has it really been 5 days since I last posted? I'm getting lazy. Anyway, since then a lot of the post season awards and All-American lists have been coming out. Most of the top awards generated very little hype here in the Midwest as the Big Ten was, for the most part, completely non-existent. Angerer was a finalist for the Bronko Naguriski Trophy for the top defender, but we all knew that award would go to Ndamukong Suh. Suh did provide a little bit of excitement for the Heisman Award and actually finished 4th, which is probably as high as we'll ever see a defensive tackle. Mark Ingram (Bama's running back) won, which is better than another QB. But it's still just the most flashy offensive player on the top team in the country that's winning the Heisman.

Anyway, back to the Hawkeyes. There are a few that have received some national attention and more within the Big Ten. The big winners are :

Pat Angerer
-First Team Football Writers Association of America All-American
-Second Team Walter Camp Association All-American
-First Team Coaches All-Big Ten
-First Team Media All-Big Ten
-Second Team CBS Sports All-American
-Co-Roy J. Carver Most Valuable Player Award

Bryan Bulaga
-Second Team Walter Camp Association All-American
-First Team Coaches All-Big Ten
-Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year
-First Team Media All-Big Ten

Tyler Sash
-First Team CBS Sports All-American
-First Team Coaches All-Big Ten
-First Team Media All-Big Ten

Dace Richardson
-Second Team CBS Sports All-American
-First Team Coaches All-Big Ten
-Second Team Media All-Big Ten

And now, the Hawkeye all-conference members in addition to Angerer, Bulaga, Sash, and Richardson (this is kind of old, I know).

Coaches All-Big Ten
  • Tony Moeaki - 1st team
  • Adrian Clayborn - 1st team
  • Amari Spievey - 1st team
  • Derrell Johnson-Koulianos -2nd team
  • Rafeal Eubanks - 2nd team
  • A.J. Edds - 2nd team
  • Christian Ballard - honorable mention
  • Kyle Calloway - honorable mention
  • Ryan Donahue - honorable mention
  • Brett Greenwood - honorable mention
  • Karl Klug - honorable mention
  • Adam Robinson - honorable mention

Media All-Big Ten
  • Adrian Clayborn - 1st team
  • Rafeal Eubanks - 2nd team
  • Kyle Calloway - 2nd team
  • Tony Moeaki - 2nd team
  • Brett Greenwood - 2nd team
  • Amari Spievey - 2nd team
  • Ryan Donahue - honorable mention
  • Broderick Binns - honorable mention
  • A.J. Edds - honorable mention
  • Derrell Johnson-Koulianos - honorable mention
  • Karl Klug - honorable mention
  • Daniel Murray - honorable mention
  • Adam Robinson - honorable mention
  • Ricky Stanzi - honorable mention

Some Interesting Georgia Tech Stats

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I've been doing my research on Georgia Tech (watching games on ESPN360 and reading what I can) since the Orange Bowl pairing was announced on Sunday. Georgia Tech is a crazy, crazy team. There are not many facets of the game in which they mediocre or average. They are either really good or really terrible and as a result put up some crazy numbers.

I already mentioned the fact that they have had 3 games this year in which neither team punted and that GT has only punted 30 times all year (lowest number in the country). Tying to that, is the fact that Georgia Tech has gone for it on 4th down 26 times this year (Iowa has just 10 times). There are only 4 teams with more 4th down tries. GT is also 2nd in the country in 3rd down conversions with a 53.5% success rate.

Some more extreme stats:
  • Georgia Tech has fumbled the ball 34 times (Iowa only has fumbled it 9 times), but lost only 12.
  • GT is 8th in passing efficiency despite completing only 47.8% of its passes and having only 11 passing TDs this year. However, GT leads the nation in yards per pass attempt at 11.08 (Iowa's yards per pass is a whopping 4.68).
  • No shocker here, considering the fact that GT rarely passes, but GT is 3rd in the nation for least sacks allowed.
  • The defense gives up almost 5 yards per carry, 105th in the nation, and 6.09 yards per play, 100th in the nation.
  • Also not surprising, but GT has more carries than any other team with 751.

Donahue gets free vacation to Miami

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If Georgia Tech’s last 2 games are any indication of how the Orange Bowl will turn out, then Iowa’s punter Ryan Donahue may get to enjoy a week relaxing in Miami without having to worry about playing in a football game. In GT’s games against Georgia and Clemson the teams combined for exactly 0 punts. How is that even possible?! (Actually it’s a simple formula: really good offense + really bad defense = no punting.) Georgia Tech also had games against Florida State with 0 total punts and against Mississippi State with only 3 (all by GT).

An Iowa game rarely goes 5 minutes without a punt. In the Hawkeye’s past 2 games there have been 25 total punts. Just for fun I looked up that last time Iowa did not punt in a game. You have to go way back to August 31, 2002 against Akron when Iowa score 57 points on 7 TDs and 2 FGs. I couldn’t even find a game that an Iowa opponent didn’t punt the ball (I only went back to 2002).

Initial Thoughts on Georgia Tech

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I have caught bits and pieces of a few Georgia Tech's games this year, mostly just to check out Paul Johnson's old school triple option offense. I must say, it is pretty fun to watch. Amazingly, EStuPidN360 (not as stupid in this case) has all 13 of Georgia Tech's game from this season available to watch. So you can imagine what I'll be doing over the next 4 weeks. My initial thoughts though, without much analysis, is that of the teams that Iowa could have faced in the BCS this year, Georgia Tech is the most favorable.

The Yellow Jackets certainly have a unique offense and a few players that must be accounted for, but with 4 weeks to prepare, Norm Parker and company will have the defense well prepared. A couple of keys for the defense:
  • Spievey must shut down Demaryius Thomas who accounts for 1154 of Georgia Tech's 1762 receiving yards. He is really the only threat at receiver.
  • Limit the big play. Georgia Tech can sustain long drives with short runs, but the real threat is the big play. I tallied up GT's touchdowns this year and of the 60 there were 12 that were over 40 yards and 5 of 11 passing TD were over 60 yards.
  • Get pressure up front and force losses. GT is very good on 3rd downs (53.5%, 2nd in the nation) but that's because they put themselves in many 3rd and short situations. If Iowa can force into obvious passing downs, then GT will be in a tough place.
Defensively Georgia Tech has been mediocre. They give up just over 24 points per game. Their weakness is against the run, giving up over 150 yards per game. In their past two games, Clemson had 323 rushing yards and Georgia had 339. If Iowa gets over 300 yards rushing, then Georgia Tech has no chance. Keys on offense:
  • Block Derrick Morgan. Morgan has 12.5 sacks and 18 TFLs. He has also forced and recovered 2 fumbles. He's the last thing we want running after Stanzi who will be coming off his ankle injury.
  • Run the ball effectively. As I pointed out, GT is not exactly good against the run. If Iowa can establish a solid run game and keep GT's offense off of the field, then Iowa should be in good shape to win the game.
  • Limit turnovers. This is obvious every game but has really been hurting Iowa lately. GT has forced 24 turnovers this year so can definitely take advantage of a miscue.
Overall, I have a good feeling about this game. I think Iowa will be better prepared than they were in 2003 against USC and will be able to shut down Georgia Tech's offense. If everyone is finally healthy, it should be a fun night on January 5th.

Orange Bowl: Iowa vs. Georgia Tech

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After days and days of hearing that Iowa was a lock for the Fiesta Bowl, it turns out that TCU and Boise State will be snacking on the Tostitos this year (not sure who's going to watch that game). The Iowa Hawkeyes will meet the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on January 5 in the Orange Bowl.

Iowa's only appearance in the BCS was in the Orange Bowl against USC following the great 2002 season. Georgia Tech has been to the Orange Bowl 5 times, but not since 1967 (long before the BCS obviously).

I'm actually pretty excited about this match up, though I would have liked the Fiesta Bowl better. But, it will be interesting to see how Georgia Tech's triple option does against Iowa's stout defense. We now have about a month to analyze every aspect of the game and it should be fun.

Waiting...

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Well, after a crazy day yesterday where Texas squeaked by Nebraska, Cincinnati squeaked by Pitt, and Georgia Tech squeaked by Clemson the BCS picture is nearly fully formed. The likely top 10 in the BCS will be Alabama, Texas, TCU, Cincinnati, Boise State, Florida, Oregon, Ohio State, Iowa, and Georgia Tech. Now, 9 of those 10 teams are basically a lock. Alabama, Texas, TCU, Cincinnati, Oregon, Ohio State, and Georgia Tech get automatic bids for winning their conference/being the best non-BCS team (TCU). Florida will go to the Sugar Bowl and Boise State was perfect and will get a bid. So, the 1 team in question is, of course, the Iowa Hawkeyes.

It seemed like everyone thought they were going to a Fiesta Bowl if Texas won. Well, now people are starting to say the Fiesta will be TCU vs. Boise State to have a battle of the unbeaten. So, does that mean Iowa in the Orange against Georgia Tech? Or, will it be Penn State in the Orange? I'd be pretty mad, but not as mad as those Hawkeye fans that I've read about who have already purchased plane tickets to Phoenix and already booked hotel rooms. Actually a friend of mine's parents are guilty of jumping the gun. For me...I considered writing the "Iowa to meet Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl" post and have it fired up to be posted at 7:00 tonight, but I'm not ballsy enough I guess.

So now we wait... The big question tonight though, is do I flip over from the Iowa-Iowa State wrestling match to watch FOX's coverage of the BCS selection. I think, no. I'll just follow the BCS selections online.

A Big Weekend

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I've been taking it easy the past couple weeks. I took spent some time away from blogging during the holiday. I've got plenty of excuses though...work gets pretty crazy at the end of the year, as my kid gets older he's staying up later and demanding more of my time, it's so dark out so early I just feel like sitting on the couch and watching TV all night, Iowa basketball is so hard to watch it makes me stop thinking about Iowa athletics, Iowa football hasn't played a game and is still a month away from the next, and on and on...

But, this weekend is a big weekend for Iowa. Not only will the football team learn its bowl destination (likely Glendale, Arizona for the Fiesta bowl) and its opponent (likely Boise State), but the #1 ranked wrestling team goes to Ames to face off against #2 Iowa State. I love watching and following Iowa wrestling, but I'd don't really know the first thing about wrestling. Well, guess I know the rules and scoring, but I am in no position to analyze the match ups or provide any insight. So, blogging will be limited on wrestling, but I'll be following the team closely all year.

Back to the bowl game...all signs are pointing to Iowa in the Fiesta Bowl as long as Texas takes care of business versus Nebraska. Things start to get interesting if Nebraska does win. To start who would be #2? The SEC loser? TCU? Cincinnati? Who would get bumped? Iowa? Boise State? Let's just hope Texas wins.
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