Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz and Southern California’s Clay Helton met the media for the official Holiday Bowl press conference on Thursday.
The Hawkeyes and Trojans in San Diego is one of the top bowl matchups this year. The contest is also the rare Big Ten versus Pac-12 contest.
“This is the reward you get for the finish that both Iowa and USC had, finishing so strong down the stretch,” said Coach Helton. “You get to play these type of big games, and I think that outside the Playoff, somebody told me there’s only three Top-25 matchups and to have a Big Ten/Pac 12 matchup, man, that’s special.”
Iowa has played a Pac-12 member just once since 2010 — Stanford in the 2016 Rose Bowl.
“I think it’s outstanding because I think the conferences are very, very similar just in terms of their philosophy towards the game and towards academics,” said Coach Ferentz. “Not trying to get on a pedestal, but always felt like the Big Ten is the epitome of what college athletics should be about. It’s exciting for us and it’s truly a foreign opponent because there aren’t many crossover games, so when you come out, beginning of the month, you’re starting from total scratch It’s really, truly a fresh approach every time.”