Trophy pursuit trumps repeat match-up – which is becoming commonplace in football – at AutoZone Liberty Bowl

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Iowa State will meet Tulsa on the last calendar day of the year in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. There is a championship trophy up for grabs and, for the Cyclones, a shot at a winning record.

The Cyclones played the Golden Hurricane in this year’s season opener, too. Some people want to suggest that reduces interest in the game. That’s an angle to take, I guess.

But, the ISU football team and most of its fans are excited about the chance to face a 10-win, conference championship team in post-season play.

This is the third year in a row that a bowl game has been a repeat match-up from the regular season.

Last year, the BCS National Championship game (Alabama vs. LSU) was a rematch. Two seasons ago, Nebraska and Washington played in the Holiday Bowl after meeting during the regular season.


Ankeny High School recently won the Iowa 4A state high school championship. They beat SE Polk twice on that journey. That was part of the process.

The Packers and Bears played in September and will meet again in two weeks. What if these two 8-4 teams advance in the NFL playoffs and meet for a third time with the Super Bowl on the line? Will you skip the game because that movie has played twice already?


Wisconsin and Nebraska met twice this season in the Big Ten. Stanford vs. UCLA took place in back-to-back weeks. Besides Iowa State, Tulsa also faced UCF two times in three weeks this fall.

In today’s football world – at all levels – repeat match-ups are a possibility. You don’t have to like it, but both teams will surely embrace the opportunity and pursue the AutoZone Liberty Bowl trophy with all of their energies.

And, they’ll also enjoy a great time in Memphis.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/SteveMalchow

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