Moving right along the bowl schedule, in what I always see is the biggest bowl game, the Rose Bowl. Of course, the Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl are on a bigger stage this season, as they represent the college football playoff. There is always something about the Rose Bowl though, that to me, makes it the best bowl game a team could win outside of the playoffs. It would be nice to have a Rose Bowl ring to have for the rest of your life. The Stanford Cardinal and Iowa Hawkeyes will have the chance to claim one today. This season could have been a lot more for Iowa if they didn’t lose to Michigan State by an inch in the BIG 10 Championship. I suspect that they would have suffered the same fate against Alabama as the Spartans did, but they didn’t get the opportunity since they lost that one. They get a nice consolation prize in the Rose Bowl, though. Any letdown in this game, I believe, would turn into a big win for Stanford. Iowa had to shake that loss off and forget about it. Like gambling, you need to put the losses in the past and think about the future. We can’t change the past.
If they are suffering a hangover from the BIG 10 Championship still, Stanford will pound the ball and destroy the Hawkeyes. However, people were expecting the letdown spot to happen a lot earlier. On the season, Iowa finished with a record of 12-1. Stanford was in the mix for the college playoff before they lost to Oregon on November 14th. Speaking of Oregon, what a season it could have been if Vernon Adams stayed healthy throughout the season. Instead, Oregon had to bounce between two backups who were less than ideal to handle the offense. Soon as Adams came back that offense was on fire. Stanford found out, as they fell 38-36 to the Ducks.
This is going to be total smash mouth football in the Rose Bowl. Are you coming over to this article after watching Florida and Michigan? I expect more of the same. Old school football. I appreciate this kind of football and I think this one will be an entertaining game. Whoever has enough gas in the tank by the 4th quarter will win this game. The defensive lines for both squads are going to be tested. Iowa and Stanford have always been known for their offensive lines and look for them to be on full display this afternoon in the Rose Bowl.
Stanford Cardinal vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Rose Bowl Betting Odds:
vs. Iowa +6(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Stanford vs. Iowa Pick:
Kevin Hogan’s career will come to an end here at the Rose Bowl. Can you believe that he has been the only quarterback starting at Stanford since Andrew Luck? In an era where quarterbacks leave early for the NFL, or changes are made, it is pretty phenomenal that Hogan is still standing at Stanford. Maybe Hogan will save his best for last in the Rose Bowl today. He played well this season with 24 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Hogan is also deceptive in the sense that he has some wheels with his legs. He rushed for 312 yards and 5 touchdowns. Whether it’s Hogan scrambling, or one of the host of running backs that Stanford employs, the Cardinal have been getting big yardage on the ground. Per game they are averaging 225 yards per game. The center of the Stanford running attack is Christian McCaffrey who was named AP Player of the Year last week. He ran for 1847 yards with 8 touchdowns on the ground, along with 540 receiving yards and another 5 touchdowns. He also returns kicks, McCaffrey can do it all. A lot of the same with Iowa on the ground, who are notching 192 yards per game. They do not hold the McCaffrey factor, though.
The key to Iowa stopping Stanford in this game will be slowing McCaffrey down. Iowa is a tough, physical defense who has the potential to disrupt the Cardinal on the ground. They are a defense that held teams to 18.5 points per game this season. I see this as a field goal game. Both teams have played in close games all year long. Iowa and Stanford will come ready to play in the Rose Bowl. Something like 27-24 Stanford looks like a likely result to me.
PICK: IOWA +6 (-110)