Here we are in Iowa City, minutes away from the battle for Floyd of Rosedale between the 6-5 Gophers and 9-2 Hawkeyes. Plenty on the line today, so this one should be mighty heated. Before kickoff, here’s a brief look at what a win does for each team.
-Iowa: The Hawkeyes have lost two straight, but a win today puts them in good position to claim an at-large berth in a BCS bowl. Many will debate in the coming weeks whether Iowa is deserving of a BCS slot, especially if it keeps out an undefeated Boise State team (which it shouldn’t, but might), but the fact is, the BCS loves the Big Ten because fans travel well and they know the seats will be full. I’d suspect a Hawkeyes win lands them in the Fiesta Bowl. Also, if Michigan somehow upsets Ohio State today, Iowa claims a share of the Big Ten title with a win.
-Minnesota: The Gophers can improve their bowl position today with a win, but more importantly, win back the Pig for the first time since 2006 and beat a ranked opponent for the first time since 2005 (Purdue). The fact is, a better bowl pales in comparison to what this win would mean for the program and for third-year head coach Tim Brewster. Still in search of a defining win, Brewster would immediately shed a large number of his naysayers. It’s probably not an exaggeration to say a win today would be program-changing, at least in the near-term. The long term effects of it, naturally, would have to be studied a few years from now.