Tom Dienhart previews Big Ten's two New Year's Day Six bowls

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Dienhart previews Big Ten's two New Year's Day Six bowls

The New Year’s Day Six Bowls have been set. And the Big Ten landed two teams in what shapes up as two of the better matchups of the 2015-16 postseason.

[ MORE: View our complete 2015-16 bowl schedule ]

The two games are No. 5 Iowa vs. No. 6 Stanford in the Rose Bowl Game, and No. 7 Ohio State vs. No. 8 Notre Dame.

Get my quick preview to both games below:

Iowa. It was great to see the College Football Playoff committee didn’t bury 12-1 Iowa for losing a close Big Ten title game to Michigan State. Now, the Hawkeyes will be rewarded with the program’s first trip to the Rose Bowl since the 1990 season, a 46-34 loss to Washington. Iowa has lost its last three Rose Bowl trips, last winning after the 1958 season. My fear was the Hawkeyes would be penalized for a loss and passed in the rankings by Ohio State, which didn’t even win its division. But the 12-1 Hawkeyes fell from just No. 4 to No. 5 with the Buckeyes landing at No. 7 after being No. 6 last week. Iowa will take on a tough and physical Stanford squad that won the Pac-12 with an 11-2 record. This will be the Cardinal’s third trip to the Rose Bowl in the last four years. These are two similar teams, each built around strong running games. By the way: Both teams played Northwestern in Evanston. Iowa won, 40-10; Stanford lost, 16-6.

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Ohio State. No, it’s not a playoff spot for the defending national champs. But the 11-1 Buckeyes land a sweet spot in the Fiesta Bowl vs. Notre Dame. This will be one of the most-anticipated bowl games of the postseason, as both of these teams easily could have been playoff squads. OSU is No. 7 in the CFP poll; the 10-2 Fighting Irish are No. 8. This will be the sixth meeting between these iconic programs, with Ohio State winning the last three and owning a 3-2 edge. The last encounter also was in the Fiesta Bowl, as the Buckeyes took a 34-20 win after the 2005 season. It will be fun to watch Brian Kelly of ND and Urban Meyer of OSU match wits.

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