You’ve Read This Far, So You Get Three Honest Thoughts On The Outback Bowl
– Iowa finally ended a brutal run of bowl games under head coach Kirk Ferentz, beating Boston College in last year’s Pinstripe. But before that, Iowa lost its previous five, mostly in ugly fashion when the team was badly outclassed by three SEC teams, Oklahoma, and in the 2016 Rose Bowl, Stanford. The last win over an SEC team was a 31-10 drubbing of South Carolina in the 2009 Outback.
– Quietly, Mississippi State has been a dominant bowl-winner over the last several decades. It wasn’t always that way after Jackie Sherrill lost four straight in the early 1990s. But with his win over Clemson in the 1999 Peach, MSU started a run of five straight bowl wins and an 8-2 mark. This program is used to enjoying the offseason with a bowl championship t-shirt.
– Since the Outback went to the Big Ten vs. SEC format in 1996, the SEC is up 15-8 including five of the last six. Wisconsin took down Auburn in overtime of the 2015 version, but for the most part, the SEC has dominated, including two blowouts – Tennessee and Florida beat Northwestern and Iowa, respectively, by a combined score of 75-9 – before Michigan choked away last year’s game to South Carolina.
Super. So Who’s Going To Win The Outback Bowl?
Don’t expect fireworks with these two defenses. It should be close, but …
It’s the Big Ten in the Outback Bowl. You know what’s coming.
Iowa’s offense won’t go anywhere against the stout Mississippi State defense, Nick Fitzgerald will get just enough points early to get by – he’ll run for 100 yards – and head coach Joe Moorhead will get his first bowl win as the Bulldog head man. Pretty won’t matter – MSU will be happy to take the bowl.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Mississippi State 28, Iowa 13
Line: Mississippi State -7, o/u: 43.5
ATS Confidence: 4
– CFN Confidence Pool
5: Being in the bar already
0: Watching ball drop … and then trying to get into the bar
Must See Rating: 3.5
5: New Year’s Eve: Ministry of Sound, London
1: New Year’s Eve: Times Square, New York