The college football bowl season continues on Friday with the Insight Bowl as Iowa will be taking on Oklahoma in the desert. The game is scheduled for a 10:00 p.m. start time and will be televised nationally on ESPN. Currently the odds have Oklahoma favored by 13.5 points with the total being set at 57.5 points. The AP's preseason No. 1 team missed out on a BCS bid after an ugly finish, so the 19th-ranked Sooners are relegated to playing the Insight Bowl on Friday against an Iowa team that hasn't been among the Top 25 all season.
Free Analysis: Iowa enters off a down year by Kirk Ferentz’s standards, but has won three straight bowl games, including the last two as underdogs. In last season's Insight Bowl, Iowa tailback Marcus Coker earned offensive MVP honors as he was downright dominant, as the then-freshman rushed for 219 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 33 carries. Unfortunately, Coker won't be on the field for this contest, as he was recently suspended for disciplinary reasons. The standout will be sorely missed, putting added pressure on a respectable passing attack that helped the Hawkeyes average 28.7 ppg and 379.2 total ypg. Junior QB James Vandenberg has completed 59.4 percent of his passes for 2,806 yards and 23 TDs against six INTs. Marvin McNutt is the star on the outside, as he has 78 catches for 1,269 yards and 12 scores. On defense the Hawkeyes were decent vs the run, allowing 159.5 ypg and 3.7 ypc, but their passing defense has been a different story considering the fact that they were last in the Big 10 in pass defense, while opponents have tossed 20 TDs against only nine interceptions this season. For Oklahoma, Landry Jones is considered one of the top signal-callers in the nation, and he has completed 63.1 percent of his passes this season for 4,302 yards, 28 touchdowns and 14 INTs. He Hasn't thrown a TD in the last 3 games, so you know that he will be chomping at the bit to face this Iowa pass defense. The Oklahoma offense has been hit hard by injuries this year, particularly WR Ryan Broyles, but fellow wideout Kenny Stills (818 yards and 8 TD's) has stepped in nicely. Overall the Sooners are averaging 40.2 ppg and 532.1 total ypg. The defense is were the Sooners have been scrutinized the most and the come in ranked 61st overall (383.2 ypg) and 83rd vs the pass (243.6 ypg). For the most part they have played the bend but don't break defense as they have allowed just 23.8 ppg (38th). Another trip to a BCS bowl remained within their reach entering the season finale against Oklahoma State despite two surprising Big 12 defeats having ruined their national championship hopes. Oklahoma could have claimed a share of the conference title and the Big 12's BCS berth, but an already mediocre second half of the season turned into a virtual disaster with a 44-10 loss. The only previous meeting between Iowa and Oklahoma took place back in 1979 and resulted in a 21-6 victory for the Sooners. Ironically, Stoops played defensive back for the Hawkeyes in that contest.
Free Pick: To take a quote form Bob Stoops "We've had some significant injuries over the last half of the season, but this is an opportunity for other players," said Stoops. "We're excited about our trip to Tempe and the opportunity we've got to reach 10 wins." I gotta believe that this Oklahoma team will be fired up for this one. 10 wins is a big deal in CFB and after starting the preseason #1 and coming off the humiliating loss to the Cowboys you can expect that the Sooners will be looking to finish strong. The Hawkeyes have some injury problems of their own with the loss of Coker and with out a running game the Sooners should be able to pressure James Vandenberg in to some mistakes. Even with the offensive injuries the Sooners have they still have plenty of weapons to put up a lot of points and the Hawkeyes average offense just doesn't have enough firepower to keep up. Landry will go out with a big game and the Sooners will erase the memories of the OSU debacle as they win this one with ease.
Free Picks: Iowa vs. Oklahoma
Lack of motivation for Oklahoma and Coach Ferentz of Iowa is 6-1 as bowl dog plus other factors college football bettors need to know about Iowa vs Oklahoma (Friday, December 30, 2011) from Pregame.com - Including predictions from Bryan Leonard and analysis from host Marco D'Angelo.