Outback Bowl preview

January, 1, 2009
1/01/09
10:46
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

It's a big day for the Big Ten, and things begin this morning with the Outback Bowl matchup between Iowa (8-4) and South Carolina (7-5) in Tampa (ESPN, 11 a.m. ET). This might be the Big Ten's best chance at a bowl win. Here's a quick look at the matchup.

WHO TO WATCH: Big Ten fans are familiar with Shonn Greene, but the rest of the country likely will be getting its first look at the Doak Walker Award winner. This also could be the final chance to see Greene in college, as the Iowa junior running back is a strong candidate to enter the NFL draft a year early. No defense has come close to stopping Greene, who eclipsed 100 rushing yards in every regular-season contest. South Carolina certainly will have its hands full with him.

WHAT TO WATCH: Head coaches Kirk Ferentz and Steve Spurrier are a contrast in style and personality. It will be interesting to see the two match wits in a bowl game. Ferentz will lean on two improved lines, the power run game and a playmaking defense. Spurrier has taken heat for South Carolina's inconsistent offense this season, and he might try to shake up the play-calling to spark quarterback Stephen Garcia.

WHY TO WATCH: The game features the only Big Ten bowl favorite and has a must-win quality not only for Iowa, but the beleaguered conference. Iowa is arguably the Big Ten's hottest team, winning five of its final six regular-season games. A win likely puts the Hawkeyes in the Top 25 and springboards them into a promising 2009 season.

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