Outback Bowl: Team Luncheons and More

Dec. 29, 2005

The Bowl Game

More About Iowa Football

One of the annual pleasantries of bowl week occured Thursday in Tampa when hundreds of fans of college football joined corporate sponsors, officials of the Outback Bowl and Outback Steakhouse, and the Florida Gators and Iowa Hawkeyes for the Outback Bowl Team Luncheon.

This year’s event was staged in the Tampa Convention Center – evidence of the fact that the 20th anniversary of the Outback Bowl is more than just symbolic. The former Hall of Fame Bowl ha never been bigger and the fact that the team luncheon had outgrown its previous home – the ballroom at the Hyatt – is tangible evidence that this bowl game is cookin’.

Another example of how good things are going for Jim McVay, the president and chief executive officer of the Outback Bowl, and his staff was the acknowledgement that the bowl game had come to terms with the Outback Steakhouse management on a five-year extension.

As always, in addition to who wins the centerpiece at each table – this year’s prize was a souvenir football featuring the Outback Bowl logo – each coach speaks briefly. And, true to form, both were generous in their praise to everyone involved in the event.

This year’s activity did offer an interesting twist: Questions for Kirk Ferentz and Urban Meyer from those in attendance.

Kirk was asked to name his game captains and how they were selected. He as also asked which team in the Big Ten Conference most resembled Florida.

“Northwestern and Ohio State,” Ferentz answered without hesitation, before adding with a smile, “The good news is we pretty for both of them. The bad news is we lost both games.”

Ferentz was also asked to weigh in on the commonly held belief that the Southeastern Conference is heavy with speed and skill, and the Big Ten’s strength is its strength.

“I’d say that that was pretty accurate in the `80s during my first stay at Iowa,” Iowa’s head coach offered. “We’ve narrowed the gap on the speed side, but the edge is still the SEC’s.”

Want to see more? Check out the photos added today to the Iowa Football Photo Gallery by clicking HERE.