Iowa stomps Gophers, Oregon State survives
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Penn State is headed to the Rose Bowl and Ohio State might be BCS bound as well, but the Big Ten might not have a hotter team than Iowa, which finished the regular season by winning five of six games. The Hawkeyes drilled Minnesota 55-0, storming out to a 27-0 halftime lead and pouring it on in the second half. They're bringing home the bacon to Iowa City.
Shonn Greene had another big night (144 rush yards, 2 TDs), becoming the first back to eclipse 100 rushing yards in all eight Big Ten games since Penn State's Curtis Enis in 1997. But he was somewhat eclipsed by the play of sophomore quarterback Ricky Stanzi, who is blossoming into a solid field general. Stanzi and Derrell Johnson-Koulianos hooked up seven times for 181 yards and a touchdown. DJK has come on strong the last few games.
Unfortunately for both Iowa and Ohio State, Oregon State rallied past Arizona and kept the Rose Bowl in the viewfinder. The Buckeyes likely need a Beavers loss next week against Oregon to earn a BCS at-large bid. If Ohio State reaches the BCS, it could open up a New Year's Day bowl spot for Iowa or Northwestern. Should the Buckeyes slip to the Capital One bowl, Iowa and Northwestern likely would be competing for the Alamo and Champs Sports bowls.
Minnesota has a habit of collapsing late in the season, but this face plant is rather stunning. The Gophers just haven't been the same team since Northwestern's Brendan Smith scored on an interception return with 12 seconds left in a Nov. 1 game at the Metrodome. Quarterback Adam Weber really struggled tonight, but without any semblance of a rushing attack, he can only do so much.
Four consecutive losses to end the season likely puts Minnesota in the final Big Ten bowl spot (Insight or Motor City).