Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Orange Bowl tonight and Iowa is an underdog and today's Wall Street Journal is projecting Georiga Tech to win

Opening up the Wall Street Journal to page D8 for Tuesday, January 5, 2010 ...

We may be conducting business today, but the big bowl game is on a lot of people's minds for this evening ...

The (9) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 27, (10) Iowa 26 as a captioned photo reads "Josh Nesbitt, left, of Georgia Tech" as the QB is getting ready to pass vs. Clemson, who the Yellow Jackets beat twice, including a 39-34 win the ACC Title Game.

Iowa (10-2 in '09) hasn't won a BCS bowl before. Georgia Tech (11-2 in '09) has never played in one. Georgia Tech has played in major bowls before, with the last being the 1967 Orange Bowl (L, 12-27 vs. Florida). This is the sixth Orange Bowl overall for Georgia Tech (3-2), second for Iowa (0-1).

In the 2003 Orange Bowl, the Hawkeyes finished poorly in the second half and never looked better than the opening kickoff when CJ Jones took the kickoff 99 yards to give Iowa an early 7-0 lead. By the way, Iowa was tied at halftime 10-10 vs. Southern Cal, despite settling for only three points twice inside the five yard line in the second quarter.

How would the game have been had Iowa been able to capitalize on field position and gone in at half 21-10, rather than 10-10?

Note, in the 2010 Rose Bowl and 2010 Capital One bowls, both Big Ten teams, Ohio State and Penn State, respectively, settled for field goals throughout much of the ball game. Can Iowa follow the same mode of operation and defeat Georgia Tech? It would appear Iowa needs touchdowns and not

It's finally here: Tech vs. Iowa - AJC, the major source for news in Atlanta
Tony Barnhart looks at some of the key players on both sides of tonight's Orange Bowl.

Can Iowa pull off the upset in the 2010 Orange Bowl over #9 Georgia Tech?

There's an old saying ... that's why we play the games. It is the ACC Champion vs. the Big Ten runner-up in the final BCS bowl game before the BCS Title Game on Fox.

Interesting Stat: Both Georgia Tech and Iowa played there first bowl games in the Rose Bowl. Georgia Tech beat Cal 8-7 in the 1929 Rose Bowl. Iowa won their first Rose Bowl game defeating Oregon State 35-19 in 1957 and followed up in 1959 beating Cal 38-12.

Iowa is 2-3 in Rose Bowls and 2-4 in "Big Four" bowls heading into tonight's Orange Bowl. One of the ACJ story's is wrong, Iowa will move to 3-4 in "Big Four" bowls with a win over Tech. Further, an Iowa win will drop Tech to 3-3 lifetime in the Orange Bowl.

By the way, some Georgia Tech fans view the 1990 season's Citrus Bowl the biggest bowl game as the biggest bowl game in the modern era for Georgia Tech. The 2010 Orange Bowl is huge for the winner.

What impact will the win have on the final, but more importantly, the 2010 pre-season ranking for the winning team team?

A Top 6 or 7 pre-season ranking typically places a program into the BCS title picture. Iowa did experience a little of that talk in 2009, despite not being considered a Top 25 team by most people heading into the 2009 season.

The Hawkeyes started the season 9-0, until QB Ricky Stanzi's ankle went down in the tenth game vs. Northwestern. Iowa lost the Northwestern game, then freshman quarterback James Vandenberg lead Iowa to a 1-1 record, including a 24-27 OT loss at Ohio State.

When Iowa played USC in the 2003 Orange Bowl, the Trojans played as strong as any other team in the 2002-03 bowl schedule. At season's end, they may have been the better team, then even Ohio State and Miami-FL, who played in the 2003 BCS Title Game in the Fiesta Bowl. The following season, USC became the most dominant program in the FBS.

Could Georgia Tech be in similar role heading into the 2010 Orange Bowl that USC was in the 2003 game? Could the Yellow Jackets be ready to break out in the 2010 season as a FBS elite team? Could a win over Iowa be a springboard, similar to USC in 2003 Orange Bowl.

So, what's Iowa have to play for? While they may not be quite as young of team as Georgia Tech, they were a possession away from being in the Rose Bowl this season and champions of the Big Ten Conference. What would a win in the 2010 Orange Bowl do for Iowa in 2010?

This should be a great game in Miami: the 2010 Orange Bowl. Let's hope Iowa pulls off the upset! This is likely a bigger, better game than the 2003 game.

Iowa needs to score touchdowns tonight and the Hawkeyes need to win big (a/k/a see the 2009 Penn State game in Happy Valley). Iowa beat Penn State 21-10. The key element is Iowa won by more than a possession. Of course, Iowa beat LSU 30-25 in the exciting finish to the 2005 Capitial One Bowl, which is by far Iowa best win in the Kirk Ferentz era.

Prediction (10) Iowa 31, (9) Georgia Tech 25

For this to happen, Iowa must win the Special Teams phase of the game and dominate in the trenches (especially offensively and in run defense) vs. a high powered Yellow Jackets offense that is only in it's second season and is looking to make major noise in 2010 ...

Robin Tucker for ttrco

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