Ranking Iowa's Holiday/Iowa State's Camping World Bowls For Excitement


Prior to playing the FBS 39 college football bowl games, Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports ranked the games based on how good the matchups might shape up. Both Iowa's matchup with USC in the Holiday Bowl and Iowa State's pairing with Notre Dame in the Camping World Bowl were among the top 15 by Fornelli. Now that those bowls are in the books, Fornelli has re-ranked them based on how the games played out. Of course, the Hawkeyes crushed the Trojans 49-24 and the Cyclones got pushed around in a 33-9 loss to the Fighting Irish. Here's Fornelli's rank/take on each game:

27. Holiday Bowl (12) -- Iowa 49, USC 24: This is a game that had a lot of promise while it was being played. Both Iowa and USC were trading touchdowns for the first quarter and a half, but then USC QB Kedon Slovis was knocked out of the game. From that point on, it was all Iowa. It was 21-14 Iowa before the injury, and it was 28-10 Iowa afterward. Still, it was a fantastic game for Iowa's Ihmir Smith-Marsette, who scored touchdowns on a kick return, a run and a reception. He could have thrown for a touchdown as well but overthrew his receiver in the end zone. Total showcase game for Smith-Marsette.

32. Camping World Bowl (8) -- Notre Dame 33, Iowa State 9: Another game I had high hopes for that turned out to be a complete mismatch. Maybe I should have seen it coming, but all the advanced metrics -- not only mine -- swore that Iowa State was a better team than its 7-5 record indicated. Well, maybe it was, but after losing to Notre Dame by 24, it'll have to settle for being the best 7-6 team in the country. Of course, while the game stunk overall, it did feature one awesome stiff-arm.

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