Let’s assume Iowa goes to the Outback Bowl, though I grant you that isn’t a certainty. This isn’t neurosurgery, so we can afford to make a harmless assumption for the sake of an Internet poll.
At the bottom of this post you can vote to choose who you’d rather see the Hawkeyes play in Tampa, understanding that Alabama and the loser of Saturday’s Auburn-Missouri SEC title game would probably be unavailable. I’m including Missouri anyway.
My choice would be South Carolina. I want to see the best matchups possible. South Carolina is ranked eighth, is 10-2, and has a premier player in defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Plus, it has an excellent quarterback in Connor Shaw.
LSU, especially without starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger (torn ACL in the final regular-season game), is a pretty salty 9-3 team. It crushed Texas A&M 38-17 on Nov. 9. But losing a quarterback who threw 22 touchdown passes is a big loss in luster.
Texas A&M, even at 8-4, would be fun. You have Johnny Manziel, you’re watchable.
But I’ll take the best-available team, and that would be South Carolina. If, that is, Iowa goes to the Outback Bowl. And if, that is, South Carolina is available.
I’m interested in what fans think. Do you want the highest-ranked team, the biggest-name program (LSU), or the marquee quarterback? I included Missouri in case in loses to Auburn and is skipped by the Capital One Bowl.