Everything fell into place Saturday. Now it's just a matter of the Outback and Gator bowls doing what everyone says they're going to do.
With Auburn's win over South Carolina, Alabama won't fall to the Outback. Which means Penn State probably plays in that game against South Carolina.
With Washington's win over Washington State, Washington became bowl-eligible and probably lands the Pac-10's spot in the Alamo Bowl over Arizona. The Alamo would take Oklahoma State over Nebraska because a) Oklahoma State will bring a lot of fans and b) there's no way anyone wants a Nebraska-Washington rematch after the Huskers beat the Huskies in September, 56-21.
Next in the Big 12's pecking order is the Insight Bowl. It's 10-3 Nebraska or 10-2 Missouri. Nebraska fans might have been burned out on traveling after going en masse to Arlington, Texas, for the BCS title game, but a game against Iowa ought to reinvigorate them. It should also reinvigorate Iowa fans who may have been feeling less-than-excited about a bowl trip after the regular-season the Hawkeyes had.
(Oh by the way, this is assuming a lot of reports are correct that the Gator Bowl would select Michigan from the Big Ten, and not Iowa. If the Gator proves that wrong on Sunday ... never mind.)
Missouri, meanwhile, doesn't bring the ticket-buyers. Not like Nebraska, that's for sure.
Holy Mackinoly, an Iowa-Nebraska game (with all the snowbirds living in Arizona alone) could put an enormous crowd in 73,397-seat Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. Even if there are 10,000 empty seats, it would easily shatter the bowl's record crowd of 49,385, when it was the Copper Bowl in Tucson.
The bowl moved to Phoenix in 2000 and was renamed the Insight.com Bowl. It was played in downtown Phoenix's then-Bank One Ballpark until 2006, when it moved to the Arizona State campus.
The Insight Bowl's crowd-figures since the game has been in Phoenix:
Date Score Crowd
December 28, 2000 Iowa State 37 Pittsburgh 29 41,813
December 29, 2001 Syracuse 26 Kansas State 3 40,028
December 26, 2002 Pittsburgh 38 Oregon State 13 40,533
December 26, 2003 California 52 Virginia Tech 49 42,364
December 28, 2004 Oregon St. 38 Notre Dame 21 45,917
December 27, 2005 Arizona State 45 Rutgers 40 43,536
December 29, 2006 Texas Tech 44 Minnesota 41 48,391
December 31, 2007 Oklahoma St. 49 Indiana 33 48,892
December 31, 2008 Kansas 42 Minnesota 21 49,103
December 31, 2009 Iowa State 14 Minnesota 13 45,090
By the way, the 2000 and 2009 games were dominated by Iowa State fans. Minnesota brought almost no one last year, in its third appearance in four years. Pittsburgh had a decent number of fans in '00, but ISU was responsible for at least 60 percent of the crowd, if not 70 or 75. Last year it was a Cyclones home game.Legend has it that ISU fans drank downtown Phoenix out of beer 10 years ago. Good golly, what would Cornhusker and Hawkeye followers do in Tempe on Dec. 27 and on game day, the 28th?