The 22nd annual Insight Bowl features a 10-2 Missouri team from the Big 12 against a 7-5 Iowa team from the Big Ten for their first meeting in 100 years. I guess it would be quite pointless to say that Missouri has a 7-5 edge in the series.
Iowa's leading rusher, Adam Robinson, will not play in the bowl game after being suspended for "failing to comply with team expectations and policies". Junior RB Jewel Hampton, the team's No. 3 rusher has left the team on his own accord. That leaves freshman Marcus Coker (81 carries for 403 yards and 1 TD) as the leading available ball carrier.
The computer (Congrove Computer Rankings, a.k.a. CCR Top 120) appears to be on the wrong side of this game with a 2.25-point forecast favoring Iowa. The computer is 10-2 with won-loss picks on Missouri games and 8-3 against the spread. It's 8-4 straight up on Iowa games and 3-9 against the spread. (Such information is tracked for the sole purpose of recording the computer's accuracy in picking games and ranking teams. It is not intended for gambling purposes).
Iowa got out off the blocks with a hot start to its 2010 campaign. The Hawkeyes won 5 of their first 6 games and were 7-2 after 9. But head coach Kirk Ferentz's team enters the bowl season on a 3-game losing streak after losses by 4 points or less to Northwestern, Ohio State and Minnesota. It's other two losses during the season came to Arizona by 7 and Wisconsin by 1.
Iowa was No. 15 when the first BCS Standings were issued on October 17 and rose to as high as No. 13 on November 7. By November 28, the Hawkeyes had fallen completely out of the standings. Iowa was ranked as high as No. 10 in the CCR Top 120 after the third week of the season, but enters the bowl game ranked No. 33
Missouri, which was projected to go 9-3 overall and 5-3 in the Big 12, wound up finishing 10-2 overall and 6-2 in the conference. A 7-0 start put the Tigers up to No. 6 in the BCS Standings before disaster struck with back-to-back road losses to Nebraska and Texas Tech. In retrospect, a win over the Red Raiders would have propelled the Tigers into the conference championship game. Missouri was No. 12 in the final BCS Standings and currently ranks 17th in the CCR Top 120.
Missouri is 12-15 all-time in bowl games and the Insight Bowl gives Missouri a record sixth straight bowl appearance.
The Tigers defense leads the Big 12 and ranks sixth nationally in scoring defense, allowing only 15.2 points per game, including two shutouts in Big 12 play. Mizzou is the ninth-winningest program in the NCAA from 2007-10 with 40 wins. Among automatic qualifying BCS leagues, the Tigers have the sixth-most wins during that time period, trailing only Ohio State (43), Alabama (42), Florida (42), Oklahoma (41) and Virginia Tech (41).
Iowa is 13-10-1 overall in bowl games and is playing in its ninth bowl game in the past 10 campaigns.
The Insight Bowl is played at Sun Devil Stadium on the Arizona State campus in Tempe. It will be broadcast nationally on ESPN beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET.