THIS WEEK'S GAME: LSU vs. Iowa, Capital One Bowl, Orlando, Jan. 1 -- Consider the perceptions surrounding these 9-2 teams. Iowa exceeded expectations and earned a share of the Big Ten championship while LSU failed to meet expectations by not winning the SEC championship for the second consecutive year. In truth, LSU is still an outstanding team that played its best football late in the season. Considering the way the Tigers have handled potential distractions in the past two seasons, it's hard to imagine coach Nick Saban's departure preventing LSU from playing well in this game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
QBs Marcus Randall and JaMarcus Russell -- They've shared the job all season, but Randall ended up seeing the most important minutes of the season and will probably do so in the Capital One Bowl as well.
CBs Corey Webster and Travis Daniels -- Most of Iowa's offensive success this season has come through the passing game and LSU's cornerbacks will be tested by the Iowa QB Drew Tate, who put together a surprising season en route to All-Big Ten honors.
With the exception of the players who suffered season-ending injuries, such as C Ben Wilkerson, WR Steve Mares and LB Dorsett Buckles, the other Tigers should be ready to go against Iowa. Even CB Daniel Francis, who has been out with an ankle injury since the Ole Miss game on Nov. 20, is expected to play in the Capital One Bowl.
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