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Barta 'intrigued' by Labor Day non-conference showdowns

Nothing imminent, but a break in the Cy-Hawk seems to at least be a passing thought

Iowa offensive line coach Brian Ferentz gets knocked down as he celebrates with Iowa Hawkeyes offensive lineman Ike Boettger (75) after a 43-yard LeShun Daniels touchdown during the second half of their college football game against the Iowa State Cyclones at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa, on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Iowa offensive line coach Brian Ferentz gets knocked down as he celebrates with Iowa Hawkeyes offensive lineman Ike Boettger (75) after a 43-yard LeShun Daniels touchdown during the second half of their college football game against the Iowa State Cyclones at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa, on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Iowa and Iowa State are linked by contract through the 2021 season, so the Cy-Hawk rivalry isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

During Iowa’s pregame radio going into Saturday night’s game, Iowa athletics director Gary Barta pondered the possibility of the rivalry taking a break, mentioning the LSU-Wisconsin game at Lambeau Field during the opening weekend. Again, there’s a contract through 2021. The game isn’t going anywhere, right now, but it was an interesting comment.

Barta explained his thoughts in the postgame.

“As I watch more and more of these Labor Day kickoff classics, it’s something I might be interested in at some point,” he said.

There are a ton of obstacles even beyond the contract, which does have a clause that allows the schools to bow out of it if the Big Ten and Big 12 expand their schedules. The Big Ten added a ninth conference game this season, which does pinch Iowa’s non-conference schedule, but the leagues have made the Cy-Hawk game work.

“With nine Big Ten games, playing Iowa State and playing in one of those (Labor Day) games, I couldn’t do it,” Barta said. “There’s nothing brewing (along the lines of taking a break in the Iowa State series), but it’s just intriguing.”

And that’s all it will be for now.

“I really was just reacting to watching some of those games last weekend,” Barta said. “Who knows? Sometime in the future, but there’s nothing imminent.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8256; marc.morehouse@thegazette.com

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