Sunday Hawkeyes Reading Room -- Iowa, Penn State wait; BCS Guru says Iowa will be No. 12 today

Published: November 22 2009 | 12:01 am - Updated: 30 March 2014 | 2:16 pm in
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Penn State has embarked on the same waiting game as Iowa, as Cory Giger of the Altoona (Pa.) Mirror writes here.

The Hawkeyes, by any measure on the field, would seem to deserve the BCS bid over PSU. Both teams are 10-2 overall and 6-2 in the league, but Iowa beat the Lions on the road, gave Big Ten champ Ohio State a much better game in a loss and suffered its losses only after losing its starting quarterback.

The head-to-head component does matter, but it's far from the lone criteria, said Orange Bowl committee member Mike Kosnitzky, who was on hand for Saturday's game.

"It certainly would weigh in favor of Iowa in that decision process," Kosnitzky said. "But there are other factors. ... It's a very democratic process that takes place in the committee."

The biggest factors in Penn State's favor are the school's huge alumni base spread across the nation, the massive traveling fan base and legendary coach Joe Paterno. Even if Iowa has the better resume on the field, it cannot match Penn State in those other areas.

"I think our fans certainly could be a big plus when it comes to our [possible] selection," Paterno said.

The coach joked he has no idea how to lobby for a BCS bid.

"What do you want me to say? Pick us. Pick us. Pick us," he said.

Paterno, like Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz, isn't about to start lobbying. So says The Daily Collegian, Penn State's student newspaper.

"Are we better than X, Y and Z? I don't know," Penn State head coach Joe Paterno said after the game. "I think we can play with anybody. Now whether somebody is going to take us or not in a BCS bowl, I don't have any control over that."

However, with both the Lions and Hawkeyes now sitting on their couches until the bowls, it comes down to watching the Cowboys and another at-large contender like Boise State attempt to notch wins. In other words, Penn State had to make its last push to selection committees well before almost everyone else.

"What do you do?" Paterno said about staying relevant during all the time off. "I could jump off the roof of my house. I don't think there's any way to do it until we change the format of the scheduling in the Big Ten. Or as I've tried to say several times, add a 12th team and have a division championship."

Paterno can be pretty funny. Here's one more line from him Saturday, this courtesy of the Reading (Pa.) Eagle.

"If I could get on the phone and call some people and say, 'You owe me. If not, you better watch out there might be a horse's head in your bed.' "

Our friend the BCS Guru says Iowa will comfortably be in the Top 14 of today's BCS standings, which means it will be next week, too. The Guru has Iowa 12th this week and Penn State 13th. He says:

1. Florida, 2. Alabama, 3. Texas, 4. TCU, 5. Cincinnati, 6. Boise State, 7. Georgia Tech, 8. Oregon, 9. Ohio State, 10. Pittsburgh, 11. Oklahoma State, 12. Iowa, 13. Penn State, 14. Virginia Tech, 15. LSU.

But what's this? Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman says Oklahoma State will go to the Fiesta Bowl if it knocks off Oklahoma in their Bedlam Game at Norman this Saturday. Tramel writes:

If OSU wins Bedlam, most agree the Fiesta Bowl will select the Cowboys, who figure to be ranked about 11th in the BCS come Sunday afternoon. Itís possible OSU could get bypassed for Boise State but not likely.† Two other scenarios that could knock OSU, even at 10-2, out of the Fiesta. If Texas A&M upsets Texas on Thanksgiving night, the Longhorns probably would miss the national title game and instead would go to the Fiesta itself, provided it beats Nebraska in the Big 12 title game. Or if the Huskers upset Texas in that title game, Nebraska would go to the Fiesta Bowl.

Boise State isn't a BCS lock, folks.

And you're going to get two solid weeks of this. Which the Hlog, admittedly, loves. I'll bring you whatever Fiesta Bowl gossip I can get my mitts on from wherever I can get it.

Hawkeyenation.com's Jon Miller has said Iowa to the Fiesta for a while now, and is holding tough. Miller wrote this:

I may be swimming against the stream with this scenario, but itís starting to gain traction in my mind.

I think the Fiesta takes Iowa and comes back around to take Oklahoma State with its second pick.† If Oklahoma State loses next week against Oklahoma, itís moot for Boise State.† I just donít think the Fiesta will let Iowa get past them with their first pick as they will not get another shot at them with their second.

Andy Staples of sportsillustrated.cnn.com urges BCS bowls to favor Iowa over Penn State. Staples writes:

Attention, members of the Orange, Sugar and Fiesta Bowl committees: Unless you're taking Boise State, do not stiff Iowa.

Chances are, one of the non-Rose BCS bowls will need to take a team that can put butts in the seats and generate some TV buzz. Judging strictly by records, an undefeated Boise State would be the obvious choice for the final at-large slot. Unfortunately, the Broncos won't draw the kind of crowd a Big Ten team would.

If the bowls pass over Boise State, they may not pick the Hawkeyes, the next best choice. Iowa closed a 10-2 regular season Saturday by beating Minnesota for the Floyd of Rosedale -- the finest pig trophy every sculpted.Yet Iowa could wind up in Orlando on Jan. 1 while a conference rival enjoys the BCS luxury.

Iowa fans travel well, but hardly anyone outside the state wants to watch the Hawkeyes play. Penn State, another two-loss team, would sell out a stadium and bring in bigger ratings.

There's only one problem. Iowa whipped Penn State in State College in September. The Hawkeyes are the superior team, and they deserve the BCS slot. But bowl officials may not see it that way.

For you good readers who stayed with this to the end, here's a poll for you:

[polldaddy poll=2287029]


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