I was SO pumped for an Iowa win this bowl season after a HORRIBLE November and December. Then Illinois helped my excitedness by helping the Big Ten go 2-0 to start the bowls.
Then New Years.
Maybe I'm being an ignorant Iowa fan, but Iowa deserves some respect here. During bowl season, almost every fan associated with a Big Ten team will cheer for the Big Ten teams for bowl season. I'm confident most people reading this were cheering against the Big 12's Mizzou in that game and it was a great finish. But Iowa deserves more respect than what they get, and not just from Big Ten fans, but from everyone.
Iowa's win over a #12 ranked, 10-win team from a conference considered to be better than the Big Ten by the end of the season needs to be put in perspective. Not only were they 3 wins better than us, they got us after losing to Northwestern, Ohio State and Minnesota in the final 3 weeks. Then our already beaten-up team was rocked by our ALL-TIME leading receiver for the last 4 SEASONS with a massive drug scandal, then came our former #1 running back's departure from the team, then came our former #2 and then #1 running back being suspended for academic reasons, then came our #2 fullback and #4 running back having to sit out for heart problems, and then the same former #2 and the #1 running back that had academic problems got arrested for marijuana possession the night before the game. So to beat that Missouri team under those circumstances was incredible enough. (My first reason why Iowa needs a pat on the back for their bowl win)
The next reason is because, other than Illinois, Iowa might be the only bowl winner (nevermind, Ohio State). You Illini fans are probably going crazy right now saying "Why are you giving us the cold shoulder? We won our bowl game!" Yes, yes you did. But it's the first time in a LONG time you have done that, so you got your pat on the back in the days following your game. Iowa, on the other hand, has won 3 straight bowl games and was either the ONLY good thing happening in the Big Ten during bowl season, or a big part of the success. 2008: the ONLY Big Ten team to win a bowl game. 2009: Won it's BCS bowl to improve the Big Ten to a winning record in bowls and a 2-0 record in BCS games. 2010: 1 of 2 teams out of 7 to win their games so far.
*Edited poll: Added Ohio State. Left them off to start because of poor bowl performance in last 4 years or so and lack of a national championship. Remember, this is not about the team who goes to the best bowls, it's how they perform in them.
*Edit again* After Ohio State's win in the Sugar Bowl, it looks like Ohio State may be our best team. Before this win, Ohio State had only won 1 bowl win in the last 4 seasons. Now they have 2 straight BCS bowl wins and a great 6-3 record since 2002.