The Hawkeyes and the BCS

Nov. 15, 2004

The Iowa Hawkeyes climbed two positions in this week’s Bowl Championship Series standings and will be facing one of the two other Big Ten Conference teams included in the elite list Saturday when the play their 2004 home finale.

Saturday’s Iowa-Wisconsin game is the first where the winner walks off the field with the new Heartland Trophy.

Coach Kirk Ferentz’s squad, winners of six in a row and 17 straight at home, are the No. 18 team in this week’s BCS list. The Hawkeyes’ opponent on Saturday – the Wisconsin Badgers – checked in at No. 13. Michigan is the other Big Ten team included on the chart at No. 7.

With .4119 points, Iowa stands fractions of a point behind No. 16 Louisiana State and No. 17 Tennessee. Southern Cal, Oklahoma, and Auburn are Nos. 1, 2 and 3.

Iowa and Wisconsin will square off at 3:30 p.m. (Iowa time) Saturday inside historic Kinnick Stadium on Seniors Day and Fan Appreciation Day. The game will be televised live by ESPN and is the first where the winner will cart off the new Heartland Trophy.

The game – like most played in late November – has significant implications on bowl game invitations. Michigan plays at Ohio State Saturday at noon (Iowa time). A win by the Wovlerines secures Michigan a berth in the 2005 Rose Bowl. A loss opens the door to Pasadena for Wisconsin, should it beat the Hawkeyes.

A Michigan loss paired with an Iowa win on Saturday means a tie for the Big Ten championship between Iowa and Michigan. The Wolverines would advance to the Rose Bowl and the Hawkeyes would likely be headed to Florida for the third straight year.