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Jan. 2, The Orange Bowl

Old 01-02-03, 12:49 PM
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Jan. 2, The Orange Bowl



Iowa

Vs.

USC

What will happen: Anything. From an Iowa blowout to a USC win at the gun, nothing will be shocking. Iowa has the athletes to hang with the Trojans, but USC might be too balanced and too strong on both sides of the ball. Iowa shows up huge in big games and this will be a home game with 50,000+ sunburned Hawkeyes fans packing the stands, and that could play a major role. USC's passing game and depth at running back will be the difference. Iowa's pass defense will have too many problems with the dizzying array of NFL talent SC has at receiver, and will get nipped in a classic.
CFN Prediction: USC 28 ... Iowa 24
http://collegefootballnews.com/2002/Bowls/Orange.htm
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Old 01-02-03, 01:23 PM
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I think it will be a close game all the way. Iowa is a better team but they haven't played in more than a month and 1/2.

Iowa - 35
USC - 28
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Old 01-02-03, 02:12 PM
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Iowa will blast the U. of Spoiled Childrens in my bold prediction.
USC has been a product of popularity the past month and this
will only hurt them.The West still can't compete with the East.

I might look foolish if USC wins but I'll go all out here:

Iowa 44
USC 17
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Old 01-02-03, 02:18 PM
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Not into college ball like I used to be, but I'll be watching tonights game as well as the championship game tomorrow. Want to take a look at all these Heisman candidates (and winner).
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Old 01-02-03, 02:55 PM
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I think Iowa is going to take SC to the woodshed.
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Old 01-02-03, 03:50 PM
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I think this might be the best game of all, don't know if the hawkeyes secondary is up to the task though. Since I'm an Iowa resident now though, I'll take the hawkeyes by a field goal.
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Old 01-02-03, 03:51 PM
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Iowa 27, USC 21
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Old 01-02-03, 04:46 PM
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Originally posted by Mopower
I think it will be a close game all the way. Iowa is a better team but they haven't played in more than a month and 1/2.

Iowa - 35
USC - 28
Yes, those were the lines we were hearing from announcers all during yesterday's bowl games without any further analysis. Kirk Ferentz hasn't been letting these guys off the hook, and they've got one of the best strength and conditioning coaches out there, Chris Doyle, who's rumored to have some NFL teams knocking on his door now.

In the only three times where Heisman winner has met Heisman runner-up in a bowl game, the runner-up's team has won the game every time. Of course one of those teams was USC who had Anthony Davis beating Ohio State with Archie Griffin on it. But history favors the Hawkeyes here.

Those of you who look at Iowa's pass defense ranking (reflecting raw passing yardage numbers given up) to guage whether Carson Palmer will have a field day with Iowa's defense have another thing coming. Iowa's passing efficiency defense rating is a lot higher and probably more accurately reflects how good it is. The reasons being:

1) Iowa's balanced offense has been potent this year and gets big leads early (there's only been about two games where Iowa hasn't scored on the opening drive this season). Opposing teams usually have little choice but to go more towards a passing offense rather than rushing offense because most of the time they are in catch-up mode. Thus the bigger numbers in terms of passing yardage, especially in garbage time when Iowa's playing prevent.
2) Iowa's second in the nation on rushing defense. Those that do try to rush on Iowa have big problems getting anything. Some of the reduced yardage is also due to #1, but they are tough to get any yardage on the ground against.
3) Iowa's pass rush is punishing. They don't blitz a lot (which helps them cover the rest of the field better), but they get to the quarterback a lot and when they do, they punish him. 7 quarterbacks (including two of Wisconsin's) went out of the game at least for a play series due to injuries that the Iowa defense has put on them. There's even some articles in yesterday's L.A. paper where they are trying to make it sound like Iowa's defense has a "bounty" on Carson Palmer, which is distorting a lot of Iowa defensive players' comments.
4) Though Iowa's secondary is younger and shorter than others (they are missing Bennie Sapp who got kicked off the team before the season started), they still have one of the more punishing backs, Bob Sanders, who will be someone that USC WR's will remember, especially the next day with the hits he makes. Charles Rodgers of MSU will attest to that from the day he lost his NCAA touchdown reception record streak.
5) Though Iowa's pass defense can get burned at times, they also are one of the leaders in the country in terms of numbers of interceptions. Grant Steen, a linebacker, in fact tied a club record with three int's in the red zone in one game against Indiana this year.
6) Iowa's pass defense improved greatly towards the end of the year versus the beginning of the year, where they were breaking in a lot of youth there (especially with the last minute loss of Bennie Sapp who was a staple there last year).

USC also has a tough defense as many have noted and have been able to shut down both great passers and great runners all year, but the big question is can they stop a team that has balance and strength in both and has many different weapons. Brad Banks of course is the passing efficiency champion and has excellent touchdown ratios and low number of interceptions (4) and basically runs for first downs instead of making ill-advised passes that other QB's might under pressure. He also has been sacked *very* few times this year and a lot of that his due not just to his line but his ability to dodge rushers as well.

If USC tries to stack the line to prevent Banks, Fred Russell, or Jermelle Lewis from running on them like they have on many other teams, then Banks will hit consensus All-American tight end Dallas Clark over the middle who will be more open. This is basically why Michigan was trashed when they tried to do this. And that doesn't stop Banks from hitting the bomb to receivers like Mo Brown or C.J. Jones either.

Iowa also has an edge on special teams where they've forced many turnovers this year and also keep the opposition inside the 20 most of the time on kickoffs which happens a lot with the amount of scoring they do. Kaeding is also one of the best if not the best place kickers in the country. Had Michigan had Kaeding yesterday, they would have gone for the field goal at the half and likely went in with 24 points instead of 21 then.

Iowa's punter, David Bradley, is a big question mark who some times is on and sometimes blows things though he's improved a lot from where he was the previous year. He hasn't been a factor as much this season as Iowa has had to punt less than usual. He's from San Diego, so I'm sure that he'll be conscious of him playing before his high school buddies on national TV who will be rooting for USC. That might work for or against him, since he does seem to be suceptible to mental pressure at times.

For USC to win, I think Palmer and USC's line need to protect Palmer and let him pass and they need to be able to rush for enough yards to mix it up a little. On defense, I think their fast linebackers will be a key to how well they can both stop Iowa's run and also cover folks like Dallas Clark in the middle of the field. They will be running *a lot*. Purdue had similar speed at this position and arguably played the best game against Iowa this year.

On special teams, they have to hope that Iowa punts a lot and put more pressure on David Bradley to get better field position.

Oh well, gotta few errands to run before I settle down for some cold ones later tonight!

I'm not making a prediction at this point. Don't want to jinx anything now.
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Old 01-02-03, 04:50 PM
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crap.. I started reading that post
until I scrolled down and saw how long it was
ugh..
someone give me the cliff's notes on it
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Old 01-02-03, 05:23 PM
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Originally posted by Mopower
I think it will be a close game all the way. Iowa is a better team but they haven't played in more than a month and 1/2.

Iowa - 35
USC - 28
I'm just wondering how you figure Iowa is the better team? Iowa might win, but they haven't done anything to say they are the better team.
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Old 01-02-03, 05:43 PM
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Originally posted by zak52
I'm just wondering how you figure Iowa is the better team? Iowa might win, but they haven't done anything to say they are the better team.
What's USC's argument? Not record... SOS? That's taken a lot of hits the last couple of days the way their opponents have played.

Name another team in history that has beaten Michigan worse during their homecoming game than Iowa has this year!

We'll find out more in a couple of hours or so, but I think that's what's great about this game. There is no clear favorite and arguably both are as good as any team in the country right now. If today's game was starting a four team playoff, I wouldn't be surprised to see today's winner win the championship.
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Old 01-02-03, 05:59 PM
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Originally posted by DVDealer
What's USC's argument? Not record... SOS? That's taken a lot of hits the last couple of days the way their opponents have played.

Name another team in history that has beaten Michigan worse during their homecoming game than Iowa has this year!
I never said USC has an argument. I wanted to know what the argument was for Iowa though. Notre Dame beat Michigan and we know what USC did to ND.


We'll find out more in a couple of hours or so, but I think that's what's great about this game. There is no clear favorite and arguably both are as good as any team in the country right now. If today's game was starting a four team playoff, I wouldn't be surprised to see today's winner win the championship.
This was basically my point.
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Old 01-02-03, 06:04 PM
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Originally posted by zak52
I'm just wondering how you figure Iowa is the better team? Iowa might win, but they haven't done anything to say they are the better team.
If I remember right Zak, you were going to give respect to the big 10 based on the bowl games. So far they are 4-1 (damned PSU! lost in a very tight game)

Shouldn't that mean something to how good Iowa is.

On the other hand divisions like the ACC haven't fared so well (4-3 ) and the Pac 10, USC's Division, is a crappy 1-5 in Bowl games.

Hmm... If I didn't know better, it seems like some people are biased against the big 10 on here.
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Old 01-02-03, 06:11 PM
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Originally posted by Gallant Pig
If I remember right Zak, you were going to give respect to the big 10 based on the bowl games. So far they are 4-1 (damned PSU! lost in a very tight game)

Shouldn't that mean something to how good Iowa is.

On the other hand divisions like the ACC haven't fared so well (4-3 ) and the Pac 10, USC's Division, is a crappy 1-5 in Bowl games.

Hmm... If I didn't know better, it seems like some people are biased against the big 10 on here.
Actually i was going to give props to the Big 10, depending what they did in the next two games though. I'm not biased against the Big 10 but when people slam the ACC, their conference better have accomplished something better. Which the Big 10 didn't do in the regular season. The ACC did fine at 4-3. I believe they would have been 5-2 if it wasn't for some moron from FSU oversleeping
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Old 01-02-03, 06:24 PM
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Originally posted by zak52
Actually i was going to give props to the Big 10, depending what they did in the next two games though.
Actually here's what you said:

Very good points. I'm just not sold yet on the Big 10 though. I'm not taking anything away from them but the bottom 7 in that league are pretty weak. I'm still not sure about Michigan either. The bowls games could easily change my mind on them though.
I did say in an earlier post that I think the bowl games would be the final verdict on how good the Big 10 is. At least IMO anyway.
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Old 01-02-03, 07:13 PM
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Yeah, I'm not sure of your point. The Big 10 can still finish 4-3 which is the same the ACC finished.
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Old 01-02-03, 08:14 PM
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Now that's a way to start the game for Iowa....
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Old 01-02-03, 08:16 PM
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Wow! This could be a fun game, huge pass for USC...
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Old 01-02-03, 08:26 PM
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Originally posted by zak52
Yeah, I'm not sure of your point. The Big 10 can still finish 4-3 which is the same the ACC finished.
Read what you said, you are questioning the bottom 7 which did pretty good in the bowl games. The Big 10 are in the 2 biggest games of the year, if they lose both, they are still a better division this year than ACC.
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Old 01-02-03, 08:37 PM
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Can you say BIG TEN!! Go Hawks....
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Old 01-02-03, 08:39 PM
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Originally posted by Gallant Pig
Read what you said, you are questioning the bottom 7 which did pretty good in the bowl games. The Big 10 are in the 2 biggest games of the year, if they lose both, they are still a better division this year than ACC.

He's got a point..... Nice job Meeeechigan!!
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Old 01-02-03, 08:52 PM
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Don't really care much about this game, but I just turned it on since I hate to miss the next to last game of the year.

Though it is already started and IA is up 3, I'll make a pick anyway

Before the bowls, I would have picked SC, but due to the pac 1o getting punked in their bowls, I am going IA all the way. This will probably be the best D SC faces this year, unless you count
K-State's defense, and we saw how that turned out.

Combine those factors with the fact that lately heisman winners have looked like crap, and you have IA winning by 10+ IMHO
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Old 01-02-03, 09:11 PM
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Banks needs to get into his groove...

Justin Fargus.....too bad we (Michigan) let him go...he is tearing it up..
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Old 01-02-03, 09:43 PM
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Originally posted by Applejack
Don't really care much about this game, but I just turned it on since I hate to miss the next to last game of the year.
Whatcha talking about? There are a bunch of games left this year, they are just several months away.
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Old 01-02-03, 10:15 PM
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Alright. Second half time. Got home at a perfect spot.
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