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Insight Bowl Preview: Iowa, Oklahoma and the Effects of Realignment

Of course, nothing is really guaranteed this year where Oklahoma is concerned.
Of course, nothing is really guaranteed this year where Oklahoma is concerned.

Insight Bowl, December 30, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN

What it is: The game with the weirdest looking trophy in all of sports

The Sponsor: It's a computer tech company

The Teams: Iowa and Oklahoma

How Iowa got here: A favorable interdivisional schedule. Iowa is in the Legends Division -- the one with Michigan -- and drew the following teams from the Leaders Division -- the one with Ohio State: at Penn State, against Indiana and at Purdue. As you would think, the Hawkeyes went 2-1 against that schedule. Iowa was 2-3 against its own division, including a loss at Minnesota that gave the Gophers their first B1G win of the year, and the only one aside from Illinois. The Hawkeyes did somehow manage to defeat Michigan, but that's about as good as it got in a year that also featured a triple-overtime loss to cross-state rival Iowa State. In any case, Iowa will go as far as quarterback James Vandenberg and running back Marcus Coker -- who accounts for almost all of Iowa's modest running total -- will take them on offense. A top-tier defense this is not, something that should really give all of us pause with a Big 12 team lining up on the other side of the field.

How Oklahoma got here: Not living up to the preseason hype. The Sooners were supposed to have an embossed ticket to take on an SEC team for the national title, before a massive upset against Texas Tech derailed them and losses at Baylor and Oklahoma State blew up whatever track was left. Landry Jones lived up to his part of the bargain, throwing for 4,302 yards and 28 touchdowns against 14 interceptions. (Jones also had two rushing scores despite a lack of yardage.) The defense wasn't bad overall, but failed the Sooners at the most inopportune times, allowing 572 yards to Texas Tech, 616 yards to Baylor and 495 yards in the shellacking against Oklahoma State. Still, this was a pretty good team -- dismantling a solid Kansas State team on the road.

College football fans care because: It's rare you get the opportunity to watch Bob Stoops try to choke away a non-BCS bowl.

SEC fans care because: You will see enough offense in this game from Oklahoma alone to offset a century of games of the century.

Watch this game if...: You can stay up.

The result: Oklahoma 55, Iowa 17