Is it the Outback, Jack?/My AP Top 25 ballot for Nov. 30

That’s my best guess, it’s a darn good guess, and I’m sticking to it until someone persuasively convinces me otherwise.

With Oregon State rolling over like dogs instead of Beavers in their game against Oregon Saturday night, that ought to put Ohio State in the BCS (sorry, Boise State), and lift up every other bowl-eligible Big Ten team.

You know what that means, Insight Bowl. You get Minnesota!!!

So, it’s Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl, right? As Lee Corso says, not so friends, my fast. Or something like that.

Are the 9-3 Spartans a slam-dunk for the Orlando event? Not necessarily. But if Georgia is the SEC team, ticket sales ought not to be a problem. It’s a relatively short trip from the Peach State to Theme Park Hell. Plus, Michigan State fans travel well, as they say, and it will be MSU’s first New Year’s bowl in eight years.

That leaves 8-4 Iowa or 9-3 Northwestern for the Outback Bowl, and I can’t see the Outbackers passing up on Iowa and all its box office/hotel room power.

The unfortunate part for the Hawkeyes is the opponent in the Outback won’t be a ranked team. It almost surely would be either 7-5 LSU or 7-5 South Carolina. Now you know how Texas felt two years ago when it got a 6-6 Iowa team to play in the Alamo Bowl.

Iowa isn’t ranked, but should be. As you’ll see in the list below, I have the Hawkeyes 20th. I think Iowa is the most underrated team in the nation. As a result, I’d like to see Iowa get a less-glamorous bowl if it meant a better opponent. Namely, the Alamo.

However, if Missouri gets clocked by Oklahoma in Saturday’s Big 12 title game to end the regular-season with a 9-4 record and 2-game losing streak, never mind. It would be funny to see Iowa and Missouri together in Texas, though. The over/under on fights ending with drunks shoved into the canal on the San Antonio Riverwalk would be 147.

But if Iowa can’t play, say, an Oklahoma State in San Antone, just go to the Outback and play some SEC non-entity. Then the Alamo Bowl can decide between 9-3 Northwestern and 7-5 Wisconsin, with the team left over going to the Champs Sports Bowl to play some ACC also-ran.

It will all be better than that Minnesota-Kansas Insight Bowl.

And now, my AP Top 25 ballot for this week:

1. Alabama

2. Oklahoma

3. Florida

4. Texas

5. Utah

6. Penn State

7. Southern California

8. Texas Tech

9. Ohio State

10. Boise State

11. TCU

12. Ball State

13. Oklahoma State

14. Cincinnati

15. Oregon

16. BYU

17. Missouri

18. Pittsburgh

19. Georgia Tech

20. Iowa

21. Michigan State

22. Mississippi

23. Georgia

24. Northwestern

25. Oregon State


3 responses to “Is it the Outback, Jack?/My AP Top 25 ballot for Nov. 30

  1. Obligatory quibble:

    Well, you have to put everybody someplace, and you place the Hawks ahead of two teams that beat us. I won’t argue with that; I watched the second half of PSU and all of Minnesota. We deserved those wins, having finally begun stretching the field again. No one will stop Greene if we keep going over the top every time defenses cheat 8-9 guys up. And I believe Iowa is the only team in the country other than USC that will successfully play four against the run, controlling the LOS.

    But Utah ahead of USC? That is stranger than projecting Ball State to beat OK State.

  2. Points well taken, Drew.

    I am one of only two AP voters to have Utah No. 5. I think a perfect record should count for something, and so should beating Oregon State when USC couldn’t do likewise.

    Also, Utah has finished strong in November with wins over two very good teams in TCU and BYU. TCU is going to give someone a beating in a bowl.

    As for Iowa … very strong in November and the only team of 12 to beat Penn State, plus it had nothing resembling a one-sided loss. Michigan State’s dismal performances against Ohio State and Penn State put me off the Spartans.

    Northwestern probably has a better beef since it won at Iowa, but losing at Indiana has to carry a stiff penalty. Plus, the Wildcats have no wins over a currently ranked team.

  3. Where can I get some action down on that Riverwalk Over? Looks like a soft number to me.

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