Insight BowlWhat: Iowa vs. Missouri
Where: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ
When: 9:00 PM, December 28th
It is fitting that after an extremely disappointing season that Iowa is headed to a disappointing bowl game to face as disappointing opponent. Not that Missouri is a bad opponent per se. They had a good season, finished 10-2, and are ranked in the top 15. They are in a state that borders Iowa and there are actually a handful of Iowa players from that state. They were schedule to play Iowa earlier this decade but back out which left some bad blood between the school. So that makings for some kind of excitement is there. But Missouri is just not exciting.
Part of it is the fact that there was a lot of speculation that Iowa would be playing Nebraska, which would have been an awesome preview to next year's 12-team Big Ten. Another part of it is that Iowa could have been playing in a much better bowl game against a higher profile opponent. Even after losing to Minnesota (sorry to bring that up) Iowa still had a shot at the Outback Bowl (they were for sure going to get the bid before the loss) or the Gator Bowl, but were jumped by both Penn State and Michigan, two teams they beat, and fell down to the Insight Bowl. Either one of the other bowls would have provided a match up with a SEC team, either Florida or Mississippi State.
And one last thing...the Insight Bowl is played in Tempe, Arizona at 9:00 PM (CST) on Tuesday December 28th. There are a lot of Iowans living in Arizona that will snatch up tickets to this game, but for fans that already traveled to the Arizona game earlier this year, I would guess they are not as excited about a return visit. I could be wrong on that though...maybe people are tired of going to Florida for bowl games. The late kickoff is also annoying. At least the game is on ESPN this year instead of the NFL Network so I can watch it from home. But still, I have to stay up late on a Tuesday night. It's not a big deal by any means, just annoying.
But hey. It's still a bowl game and given Iowa's past maybe I should just be happy with that. If Iowa's wins I'll be excited and it'll provide some momentum into the off season that will hopefully turn the attitude about the program around.