It's tough to get a read on how the Alamo Bowl will play out. Hell, it's pretty tough to figure out how most of these bowl games will play out. Between the long layoff between the regular season and the bowls, the inconsistencies of collegiate players, and unusual team pairings, no matter how much you look at a matchup, there are going to be times when the game just plays out completely different than you'd expect.
The 'Horns are almost ten point favorites heading into tomorrow's game, and if Colt's injury weren't a concern, I'd say that line looked about right. Texas has one of the better offenses in the country when all cylinders are firing, but there are two obstacles that have been holding it back of late:
Colt's health Is he 100% healthy? Equally important, even if he's physically recovered, is he mentally where he needs to be? How will his confidence fare after the brutal A&M game to close the regular season? Further, will Greg Davis be tentative in deploying Colt? How willing is the staff to let Colt rip?
The running game If Texas plays things close to the vest, will Iowa load up to stop Texas' run? If so, can Texas sustain drives? This Longhorn offense started the season as an outstanding running team that hid a substandard passing game. By the Kansas State game, the running game had taken a backseat to the passing game. Is this the game Texas finally gets the run game back on track? Can Texas convert some third downs on the ground?
Iowa's likely to play a bend-don't-break defense, forcing Texas to make multiple plays and sustain drives. That means Texas must take care of the football and must take advantage of opportunities in the red zone. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see this game played very similarly to the Nebraska game, though I'm hopeful Texas will 1) be more aggressive with a lead and 2) improve its performance in the red zone. If those two things happen, the Longhorns should enjoy a solid bowl victory. If not, I suspect we'll be in for a tight game in the 20s.
Given the two big questions highlighted above, I'm afraid we're in for a tough battle. Officially, I'm picking Texas to win - but not by much. Ten wins again for Mack Brown - 30-27.
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