As Iowa's bowl selection nears, three games are favorites

Chad Leistikow

IOWA CITY, Ia. – The list of bowl possibilities for the 2014 Iowa football team seems to have narrowed to four.

Speaking to reporters before Saturday's men's basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa athletic director Gary Barta outlined three games that have emerged as favorites – the Dec. 30 Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn.; the Dec. 30 Foster Farms Bowl in Santa Clara, Calif.; and the Jan. 2 Taxslayer Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.

The Dec. 27 Holiday Bowl in San Diego, Calif., remains an outside possibility if three Big Ten Conference teams are selected to the "New Year's Six" – the six bowl matchups chosen by the first-ever College Football Playoff selection committee.

"All of those options from my perspective are attractive," Barta said.

The Music City Bowl is less than a nine-hour drive from Iowa City and would feature an opponent from the Southeastern Conference. The Taxslayer also offers an SEC opponent, but with the Big Ten's bowl-affiliation arrangement, only one of those bowls – not both – can select a Big Ten team.

The Foster Farms Bowl pits Big Ten vs. Pacific-12.

The College Football Playoff's Final Four will be announced on ESPN during an 11:45 a.m. CT telecast, and the rest of the New Year's Six will be revealed at 2 p.m. on ESPN.

The 7-5 Hawkeyes should know their fate between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, and Barta and Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz will meet the news media at 6 p.m. to address their destination.

"We've had ups and downs this season," Barta said, "but I can argue that we're ready to play good football."