Iowa Hawkeyes

Maddie Poppe, Hawkeye. No, not those Hawkeyes.

Meanwhile, Iowa-Nebraska Black Friday resumption looks like a go

Maddie Poppe, “American Idol” winner, performs at the Butler County Fairgrounds in Allison, Iowa, on May 15. (Matthew Putney/Waterloo Courier)
Maddie Poppe, “American Idol” winner, performs at the Butler County Fairgrounds in Allison, Iowa, on May 15. (Matthew Putney/Waterloo Courier)

Maddie Poppe became perhaps the most famous Hawkeye of all-time Monday night when she became the winner of “American Idol.”

So Clarksville’s Maddie attended Hawkeye Community College instead of the University of Iowa. The majority of the world won’t quibble.

Speaking of the Hawkeyes … Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos made news of his own Monday night during a Husker Sports Network radio show. He said Nebraska and Iowa will resume playing each other in football on the day after Thanksgiving in 2022.

“When I got here there were a couple things that I went right, straight to and that was Black Friday and to secure the rivalry with Iowa,” Moos said. “That will be scheduled long after I’m gone. And I mean, on the face of the earth.”

It isn’t clear how you can keep that promise while you’re in the afterlife, but that must be why athletic directors get the big bucks.

This scheduling business was old news in Iowa. On May 5 in Johnston, Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz said he believed the Hawkeyes and Huskers would again start playing each other on Black Friday in 2022.

“It would make sense for a lot of us to finish up with that deal,” said Ferentz. “I feel it’s unfortunate that for whatever reason we moved away from it. It sounds like we’re going to rekindle it whatever year that is.”

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“And I think it’s maybe a long-term thing, but I thought the last one was long-term, too, and we saw how that turned out.”

Nebraska jumped the shark last September. Then-AD Shawn Eichorst made a statement saying playing the last regular-season game on a Saturday “makes sense from a student-athlete health, safety and welfare perspective.”

That was around the same time the Big Ten announced Nebraska would end the 2020 and 2021 seasons with games against Minnesota, and Iowa would do so against Wisconsin, leaving schedules after that to be determined.

After Big Red unhappiness immediately surfaced, Eichorst pushed to get those Minnesota-Nebraska games on Black Friday.

Eichorst was fired shortly after that. The Huskers lost at home to Northern Illinois to cap the week that brought the Black Friday news. Talk about unhappiness. Moos was the new AD by October.

Moos understands the concept of giving customers what they want. He’s making sure Black Friday remains a Nebraska thing, which it will be with Minnesota in ’20 and ’21.

He wants it to be a Nebraska-Iowa thing after that. Black Friday in the Twin Cities is huge at Mall of America, but probably won’t be on the day after Thanksgiving at the Gophers’ TCF Bank Stadium. (Row the Gravy Boat?)

By the way, Miss Nebraska, Sarah Rose Summers, became Miss USA 2018 Monday night. This was news in Nebraska, but not so much in Iowa. That’s because of, you know, Maddie Poppe.

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Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard wasted no time Monday night telling the Twitterverse he wants to get Poppe to Jack Trice Stadium for a home football game to lead the crowd in singing “Sweet Caroline.”

The Cyclones allowed just 17.7 points per game over their final three games last season, while Nebraska surrendered 55.3 over its last three, the last one a 56-14 loss to Iowa.

Along with about everything in the present, there was a time when the previous paragraph was not normal.

l Comments: (319) 368-8840; mike.hlas@thegazette.com

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