College football is officially over so let’s take a look at how the Iowa football team and the rest of the Big Ten performed in the 2018 – 2019 bowl season.
Unless you live under a rock, you know the Iowa football team knocked off the Mississippi State Bulldogs a little over a week ago in the 2019 Outback Bowl. It marked the eighth bowl win for Kirk Ferentz, putting him past another legendary Iowa football coach, Hayden Fry for most bowl wins.
Now, with the final college football game being played Monday night, let’s look back at how the rest of the Big Ten fared.
Forewarning, there were mixed results.
The conference, as a whole, went 5-4 during bowl season, but what’s more surprising about that record is how well the Big Ten West did.
Including the Iowa football team’s win, the west went 4-1 with their lone loss being the absolute annihilation of the Purdue Boilermakers against Auburn in the Music City Bowl. Minnesota kicked off the bowl season with a strong performance against Georgia Tech, beating them 34-10 in Paul Johnson’s last game as the coach of the Yellow Jackets.
Then, it was the battle of the disappointments. Both Wisconsin and Miami entered the season ranked and with incredibly high hopes. While both of their seasons were marred with lackluster play and bad losses, Wisconsin was able to pull it together for the final game of the season to kick Miami’s tail 35-3 in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
Purdue suffered easily the worst loss, losing by a margin of 49 but thankfully Northwestern decided to play solid football outside of the conference took down #17 Utah in the Holiday Bowl 31-20, despite getting off to a very slow start in the first half.
On the east side, the only team to come away victorious was the Ohio State Buckeyes who appeared to be sleep walking as they beat the Washington Huskies. Apparently, not making the College Football Playoffs took a huge chunk out of their general excitement for their bowl season.
Meanwhile, the “second-best” team in the conference, #7 Michigan showed they weren’t ready to play with the big boys in what was another letdown by Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines. They fell to Florida 41-15 in the Peach Bowl.
Michigan State played very Michigan State-esque football, which is to say, it was ugly. They lost 7-6 to Oregon in the Redbox Bowl.
To wrap up bowl season was Ohio State defeating Washington on New Years Day and the Penn State Nittany Lions falling on New Years Day to a strong Kentucky team 27-24 in the Citrus Bowl.
Although, the Michigan loss stings a bit, the conference, overall, showed it could compete on a national scale and knock off other strong teams outside of the conference.
As to be expected though, heading into the next season, the Big Ten will likely not be respected by mainstream media nor will an Iowa football team that is returning 50% of their starters and have fantastic replacements for many of the other departures.