The Iowa State football team picked up that elusive sixth victory over Colorado yesterday.
We all know what that means. Paul Rhoads and the Clones are now bowl eligible. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Iowa State will go to a bowl but recent history suggests that Iowa State will get a call, regardless of what happens next week.
Now, the question is, where will the Cyclones go?
Here on Sunday afternoon, numerous national publications have listed Iowa State in their weekly bowl projections.
I’ll start with the good news.
Collegefootballnews.com currently has the Cyclones heading to Phoenix to take on Minnesota in the Insight Bowl. Putting two and two together, this publication is picking Iowa State to beat Missouri next week in Columbia. More on this later.
Now, onto ESPN. The network’s Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin posted today that he believes the conference to only have eight bowl eligible teams at the end of the season, making things pretty simple from that point on. Griffin too has Iowa State playing in the Independence Bowl against a team from the SEC.
ESPN’s two bowl “experts” were not so kind to the Cyclones in their projections. Mark Schlabach put the Cyclones in the Texas Bowl against Navy while Bruce Feldman is predicting a Little Caesars Pizza Bowl contest verses Northern Illinois. However, both writers still have Kansas State in the bowl picture, which means one of two things. Either they’re anticipating Bill Snyder’s Wildcats to win in Lincoln next Saturday or they forgot that Kansas State has to win seven games to qualify for a bowl, due to the fact that they have two wins over FCS opponents.
To me, this whole bowl situation is pretty simple. The Insight Bowl in Phoenix is a best-case scenario for the Cyclones. Great weather…a Big Ten opponent…a quality date and time…. the payout is better. It’s the total package and would be an absolute dream spot for the Cyclones to end up.
If Iowa State beats Missouri next week and Kansas State loses to Nebraska, there’s a pretty decent chance of this happening but nothing is a guarantee.
The next best spot in my opinion would be Shreveport. No, it’s not a glamorous location but the competition is what intrigues me. I’d much rather see Iowa State play a team like Arkansas or Auburn from the SEC, than go head-to-head with a MAC team in Detroit.
Regardless of where the Cyclones go, it is like I wrote last week.
A bowl game is a bowl game is a bowl game is a bowl game. That’s a major victory in year one of the Paul Rhoads era.
Bowl Payouts When taking a look at how all of these scenarios affect Iowa State financially, there isn’t a whole lot of difference.
Here are estimated payouts for games that I’ve seen Iowa State mentioned with. These numbers are all according to www.football-bowl.com.
Insight Bowl – $1.2 million Independence Bowl – $1.1 million Texas Bowl – $750,000 New Mexico Bowl – $750,000 Little Ceasars Pizza Bowl – $750,000 GMAC Bowl – $750,000
Again, these numbers are all estimates that are based off of last year’s payouts. As you can see, the financial difference when you get to these lower tier bowl games is minimal.