IOWA CITY — Iowa and Iowa State remain in play for a potential Insight Bowl berth and potentially could play one another in the game, an Insight Bowl official said Tuesday.
Kristen Pflipsen, director of public relations for both the Insight and Fiesta bowls, said she has received feedback from fans from both teams touting a possible rematch. It remains a possibility for the game, which is held 9 p.m. Dec. 30 in Tempe, Ariz.
“Instate rivalries have always proven to be something that fans get excited about and also will travel to a neutral site to be a part of, whether that’s a stadium in that state itself or a bowl somewhere else,” Pflipsen said. “We’ve’ found there’s a lot of passion and pride along with those games. It’s definitely not something we would write off.”
Pflipsen did say the bowl usually eschews regular-season rematches. Iowa State beat Iowa 44-41 in triple-overtime on Sept. 10 in Ames.
Both teams have had recent success at the Insight Bowl. Iowa beat Missouri 27-24 last year, while Iowa State edged Minnesota 14-13 to win the 2009 game. Both teams remain under consideration in Tempe despite their recent Insight Bowl trips.
“We don’t like to repeat match-ups necessarily but having a team back a second year or two out of three years isn’t a deal breaker for us,” Pflipsen said. “We’ve found that that doesn’t really sway attendance strongly one way or the other. Sometimes people make it a tradition to come out for each bowl if they enjoyed their experience. I hope Iowa fans did last year when they were out here for Insight Bowl. The game and the weather was pretty good last year. I would think it wouldn’t hurt us to have a repeat team again. It’s not something that deters us from picking a team for our game.”
The Insight Bowl selects third after the Bowl Championship Series for both the Big Ten and Big 12 this year. The Big Ten teams likely available include Penn State, Ohio State and Iowa. Penn State’s recent child sex abuse scandal is a factor for the bowl to consider along with Ohio State’s 6-6 record, Pfilpsen said.
“I wouldn’t say that what Penn State has gone through has really weighed into our decision strongly one way or the other,” she said. “We’re sensitive to what happened and obviously we are aware of it and think about it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we will or won’t select them because of that. We’ve had a lot of questions about that.
“(Ohio State is) eligible, but we do look at records. That’s a strong indicator as well as how they’ve played in and how their season ended up. They’re definitely in the equation, so we do try to select the best matchup we can put together.”
Gator Bowl President Rick Catlett told the Orlando Sentinel on Saturday that his bowl will pick the Buckeyes if they are available. The Gator Bowl selects after the Insight Bowl this year and would love to match new Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer with his former team, the Florida Gators.
The Big 12 potential selections are wide open for the Insight. The league still could land two BCS spots. One way or the other, it’s possible Kansas State, Texas, Missouri, Iowa State, Baylor or Texas A&M could be available.
“Until the final games play out, until we kind of figure out where everyone will end up, it’s too early to speculate,” Pflipsen said about the Big 12 possibilities.
Bowl selections take place Sunday. If Iowa and Iowa State play one another, the real question is, which traveling trophy do they play for?