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Tag: College Football

Andrei Murphy-Hawkeyes To Face Off Against Gators In Outback Bowl

Hawkeyes To Face Off Against Gators In Outback Bowl

It’s officially Bowl season. Dozens of college football teams will battle it out over the next few weeks in order to prove themselves as the best in their respective divisions. And this year, the Iowa University Hawkeyes will play against the Florida University Gators in the Outback Bowl. The game will be played on January 2, 2017 in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

With a record of 8-4, the Hawkeyes (Big 10) are ranked number 21 on the AP poll, while the Gators (SEC), also 8-4, are ranked just above the Hawkeyes, at 20 in the AP. And although these two teams both have over 100 years of football history under their belts, this will mark only the third time that they have faced each other in the Outback Bowl. Both Hawkeyes fans and players are craving for this match-up, having lost to Florida in their last outing, ten years ago.

The Outback Bowl, originally titled The Hall of Fame Bowl, has been held since 1986, pitting the third ranked SEC team against the third ranked Big 10 team. The bowl’s name was changed after the popular restaurant chain Outback Steakhouse took over as sponsor in 1996. In the bowl’s 30 year history, Iowa has played a total number of four games, with this upcoming game counting as their fifth. Coincidentally, the first ever Outback Bowl for Iowa was against Florida.

The Hawkeyes in particular have some gripes with the Outback Bowl, specifically with the officiating during the last Iowa and Florida matchup. Several unfair calls were made against the Hawkeyes, giving the Gators the advantage, allowing them to win the game. And this isn’t some sort of conspiracy theory that bares no evidence, the coordinator of Conference USA officials even publicly admitted that mistakes were made in the Outback Bowl’s officiating.

Let’s hope that the officiating this time around is far better and that the Hawkeyes will come out victorious.

Hawkeye Football, Andrei Murphy

Hawkeye 2017 NFL Draft Forecast

While Iowa may have made a statement on the field last year, they went largely unnoticed in the NFL draft. Moving forward, however, there are several star athletes who could very well (and likely will) be drafted to the professional level. Let’s take a deeper look:

Desmond King

Last year’s Thorpe Award winner, Desmond King will try to make history this coming season by taking home the prestigious distinction yet again. Approaching this draft, it was thought King would be a first round pick, but in an effort to make his mark on college football history, as well to make a deeper impression on NFL front offices, the now senior will return to Iowa to round out the remainder of his collegiate career. Notably so, the hype is already building considering CBS Sports has rated king as the number one DB prospect for this coming fall.

C.J Beathard

Not to be forgotten, C.J. Beathard just completed a successful junior season boasting of 2nd team All-Big Ten honors. Beathard may very well begin the upcoming preseason as the 1st team All-Big Ten, but only fittingly so considering he is widely regarded as the 2nd best quarterback prospect according to CBS Sports. Just as well, in light of the fact that Connor Cook was just drafted in the fourth round, and Beathard has not only better legs than Cook but a better arm too, it is hard to imagine he would not be selected for the next level. As far as rounds go, however, it remains to be seen where Beathard will land. Largely dependent on the 2017 draft’s QB class as a whole, Beathard could go in the first round or as late as the third round.

George Kittle

No list would be complete without a mention of George Kittle. Hungry, ambitious and explosive, Kittle could easily be making an NFL debut at the end of next year. Although he was formerly a skinny wheel-route option at tight end, he has since developed into an immense and intimidating physical presence. While he may be overshadowed in the media by Beathard and King, that is not to discredit his abilities in the slightest. In fact, I may even go so far as to say he could give Jake Butt on Michigan a run for his money when it comes to first team All-Big Ten this coming December.

Needless to say, I am ecstatic to see what this fall brings. Tailgating at the Magic Bus, screaming I-O-W-A at the top of my lungs, and victoriously singing along to “In Heaven there is no beer,” has never seemed so sweet.

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