Thursday, December 2, 2010

Preparing for the announcement

Raymond James Stadium a day before the 2009 Outback Bowl
Many fans think the athletic department knows the bowl fate of their favorite team. It is true that it is the job of those within to sell one's program to a bowl's board of directors, but often decisions aren't made until the day after many of the conference championships. At Iowa, the possibilities are few, with a wide selection of opponents trying to work themselves out. Possible bowl cities may be Tampa, Jacksonville or Tempe, playing teams from the Big XII or SEC.

In preparation for Selection Sunday, video coordinators around the country are constantly calling one another to find out what they have heard or read. And while many scenarios seem cut and dry, until the selection is announced, the possibilities are many. Such was the case in 2009.
Sun Devil Stadium, the home to the Insight Bowl.
The entire week leading up to the announcement, many of the so-called experts showed Iowa playing Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. Although the Broncos weren't done with their season, we began sharing games between each other. However, prior to leaving the office after practice on Championship Saturday, I had read a scenario in which the Hawkeyes could play the ACC Champion in the Orange Bowl. That night Clemson and Georgia Tech played in the Tampa night with the Yellow Jackets claiming the ACC title. I had brought home the office numbers of each video coordinator and made the call to Atlanta leaving a message to be heard upon their return.

This year I have been on the phone with the video staffs at Missouri, Florida, LSU, Tennessee, Stanford, Nebraska, and Arkansas to name a few. All are friends, with each of us trying to get a better idea of what to expect come Sunday. The possibility of playing most of these schools are remote, if not impossible, but any information gained is beneficial, and perhaps it is the initial call to set up what may be the potential match-up.

While all of the fans sit and wait for the announcement, so will the staffs of all of the teams involved. But once that initial call is made, the preparation moves quickly.

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