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Iowa linebacker Pat Angerer waves to the crowd after an Orange Bowl win after the 2009 season. Iowa was a 6-point underdog to Georgia Tech in that game.

Last time Iowa was favored in a bowl game? Turn back the clock 9 years

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ANSWER: It’s almost a shock to the system to write that Iowa is favored in a bowl game. The Hawkeyes right now are minus-3 almost across the board against Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 27.

Iowa was not favored in any of its last seven bowl trips, according to multiple editions of Phil Steele’s preseason magazines. The betting lines and results for the Hawkeyes’ bowl trips since 2006:

2016 Outback Bowl: Florida (-3) 30, Iowa 3

2015 Rose Bowl: Stanford (-6) 45, Iowa 16

2014 TaxSlayer Bowl: Tennessee (-3) 45, Iowa 28

2013 Outback Bowl: LSU (-7) 21, Iowa 14

2011 Insight Bowl: Oklahoma (-13) 31, Iowa 14

2010 Insight Bowl: Iowa (+2) 27, Missouri 24

2009 Orange Bowl: Iowa (+6) 24, Georgia Tech 14

2008 Outback Bowl: Iowa (-3) 31, South Carolina 10

2006 Alamo Bowl: Texas 26, Iowa (+9) 24

As to whether Iowa moved up beyond its record because of travel reputation, head-to-head wins or late-season surges, that was the case in 2006, 2008, 2013 and 2016. In 2009 and 2015, the Hawkeyes were slotted correctly in the Orange and Rose bowls. In 2010, a three-game slide sent Iowa down a notch or two. In 2011 and 2014, Iowa was in the right spot in the bowl selection process, but it was unfortunate that the Hawkeyes had to play in the Insight Bowl in consecutive years.

So of Iowa’s last nine bowl trips, the Hawkeyes have been favored once. That was in the 2008 Outback Bowl against South Carolina. Iowa has lost its last five bowls outright. As for the gamblers, Iowa was a winner in four straight bowls from 2006-10, but hasn’t won from 2011 onward.

So it’s peculiar to see Iowa as the favored team going into the bowl game in New York later this month.

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