In the sticky mess that is the college football postseason, 34 different bowl games now exist. And while the average college football fan has no doubt knows where Pasadena is, or which conference champions play in which BCS games, there are a lot of bowls that don't come with a lot of prestige or exposure. The sort of bowls who would love to extend an invitation to a 6-6 bowl eligible Iowa State team. (Suck on that, entire state of Kansas!)
In the spirit of getting to know these potential bowl destinations a little bit better, I present to you the "Better Know a Bowl" series. First up: The Independence Bowl!
Held on December 28th at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana, the
Poulan Weed-Eater Sanford Mainstay Petrosun Advocare V100 Independence Bowl may not hold the storied traditions that the Rose Bowl does, but it does hold an important place in college football: It was one of the first bowls to completely sell out. Just compare this year's logo with the original 1976 Independence Bowl design:
The original logo featured a badass eagle made out of an American flag. The new logo is just the sponsor company's logo with the words "Independence Bowl" shoved in as an afterthought.
In 1990, the Independence Bowl became one of the first postseason bowl games to use a sponsor when it became the Poulan Weed-Eater Independence Bowl. Whenever second-rate bowl games around the country are referred to as "Weedwhacker Bowls," they have Poulan and the fine folks in Shreveport, LA to thank.
From 1976 to 1980, the bowl featured the Southland Conference champion (Now a Division 1 FCS conference) against an at-large team. From 1980 to 1994, the bowl had no official tie-ins, and has featured an SEC team every year since 1995* (usually the 8th pick) and a Big 12 team every year since 1998 (usually the 7th pick).
Iowa State has played in two Independence Bowls, in 2001 and in 2004. In the 2001 game, ISU lost 14-13 to Alabama after a late Tony Yelk field goal was ruled "no-good" after the ball sailed directly over one of the uprights. In 2004, ISU snagged their second bowl victory ever by besting Miami (OH) 17-13, in which Bret Meyer and Nick Moser picked up Offensive and Defensive MVP hardware, respectively.
If Iowa State does go to this game, potential opponents would likely be any of the 4 SEC teams with 7-5 records and 3-5 conference records: Auburn, South Carolina, Kentucky, or Arkansas. A matchup with Auburn would likely create the most compelling storyline, due to the whole "Our-old-coach-left-for-Auburn-where-he-fired-Paul-Rhoads-who-is-our-new-coach" storyline.
Tickets for this game would cost between $30 and $35, depending on the section of the stadium.