Big Ten official: Black Friday likely for Iowa-Nebraska
Hawkeyes and Cornhuskers could play the day after Thanksgiving for third straight year
The Iowa and Nebraska football teams are likely to meet on Black Friday for the third straight season, a Big Ten official told The Gazette on Wednesday.
"I expect both Iowa and Nebraska to make that request at our next meeting," said Mark Rudner, the Big Ten's senior associate commissioner for television administration and in charge of league scheduling.
The Big Ten's 2013 football schedule is complete, so any date changes must be approved by the league's administrators council, Rudner said. The officials meet again in late February.
Nebraska has a played a football game on the day after Thanksgiving every year since 1990. When the school joined the Big Ten in 2011, it was matched in its regular-season finale against Iowa. The schools then agreed to move their scheduled games from Saturday to Friday for two seasons, one at each location.
At the time Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta said he wanted to re-evaluate the shift after two years before making a final decision. Barta told The Gazette in late November he was undecided about permanently continuing the series on Fridays.
ABC has televised the Iowa-Nebraska game at 11 a.m. the last two years. The teams are slated to play this fall in Lincoln, Neb.
Rudner said the Big Ten doesn't have an opinion on whether the schools should play on Friday or Saturday.
"Itís really up to our institutions," Rudner said. "Itís really not anything Iíd want to weigh in on. If itís something that Iowa feels serves them well, and itís something that Nebraska feels is good, then they should have the opportunity to explore it. Weíre happy to help them explore it."
According to original Big Ten schedules, Iowa and Nebraska were slated to conclude their regular seasons against one another through 2016. But with the league adding Maryland and likely Rutgers in 2014, there's no guarantee Iowa and Nebraska will compete in the same division or on one schedule.
"I think thereís a lot of unknowns right now," Rudner said. "Until they become knowns, thereís not a lot we can do in terms of beyond 2013."
No other schools have expressed an interest in moving their regular-season finale from Saturday to Friday or possibly Thanksgiving, Rudner said.