Bowl Picks: 2017 Outback Bowl
[lead align=”default”]The first college football game of the calendar year takes place tomorrow with the kickoff at the 2017 Outback Bowl.[/lead]
Here, the Iowa Hawkeyes meet the Florida Gators in a Big Ten-SEC tilt. Things haven’t been going well for Iowa’s conference so far, with both Ohio State, Nebraska, Indiana, Maryland, and Michigan all losing. Just Minnesota and Northwestern have done the conference proud to date.
2016-17 hasn’t come close to the excitement level of last season, where they were a game away from the College Football Playoff, but the Outback Bowl isn’t a bad consolation prize.
Florida’s aspirations were no higher than Iowa’s, which is to say contending for a national title. They didn’t get there, either, so two teams whose hopes never quite materialized face off tomorrow.
2017 Outback Bowl: Team Backgrounds
Big Ten Conference
8-4 (6-3 Big Ten)
30th bowl appearance in school history (14-14-1)
Best win: vs. Michigan, 14-13 on November 12
Worst loss: vs. North Dakota State, 23-21 on September 17
One stat: Tied with Florida for 9th-best scoring defense in FBS (17.9 ppg)
8-4 (6-2 SEC)
43rd bowl appearance in school history (21-21)
Best win: at LSU, 16-10 on November 19
Worst loss: at Arkansas, 31-10 on November 5
One stat: One of only six teams in FBS to allow under 300 yards per game
2017 Outback Bowl: The Edge
These are two very good defensive teams, so it makes sense that this would be a low-scoring game. (Now watch it be a slugfest just because.) Which offense is better may be the deciding factor, and frankly, both Iowa’s and Florida’s suck.
The Gators might be a bit better defensively, so what the hell, let’s go with that.
2017 Outback Bowl: Pick
[header text=”Season Thru 12-31-16 Bowls ATS” subtext=”53-59-2″]
[alert heading=”Iowa vs. Florida (-3)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]Florida -3[/alert]