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After a 4-8 2012, Iowa kind of knew what was coming in regard to night games. Bupkus was what was coming.
So, after 8-5, including a 5-3 Big Ten record and a berth in the Outback Bowl, Iowa people knew something was coming.
Maybe next week.
Tuesday, ABC announced its six Big Ten primetime games for the 2014 season. Iowa didn’t make that list. Next week, the Big Ten Network will release its night kickoffs. Iowa should land a primetime spot on BTN, with the Nov. 1 home game against Northwestern being perhaps the top candidate.
Iowa’s last appearance on an ABC primetime game was 2009 when it played host to Michigan and won 30-28. Earlier in 2009, Iowa also played on ABC/ESPN primetime at Penn State, a 21-10 victory. In 2010, Iowa played host to Penn State for a 7 p.m. ESPN regional game (winning 24-3). Iowa’s last night game was Oct. 20 at Kinnick Stadium against Penn State, a 38-14 PSU victory. In 2009, coming off a 9-4 season in ‘08, Iowa played three night games — at Penn State, Michigan and at Michigan State.
When the night times were announced last season, Iowa just gritted its teeth and took it. Zero was no big surprise.
“It is what it is. I like where we sit,” Iowa athletics director Gary Barta said last spring. “As Kirk [Ferentz] told his players, we know one thing, they’re going to put in that time slot the teams they believe will generate the best television rating, which translates into the teams having the most success.”
Barta is always open to one night game a season at Kinnick. Before 2013, Iowa had played host to at least one night game in six of the last seven seasons. Twice the Hawkeyes have played host to Penn State (2010, 2012). Since 2006, Iowa also have welcomed Ohio State (2006), Syracuse (2007), Michigan (2009) and Northwestern (2011).
The night games coincided with the BTN’s debut in 2007.
Barta has always said two Kinnick night games might stretch Iowa’s stadium personnel too thin. We’ll find out Wednesday if Iowa gets even one.
The list ABC/ESPN released Tuesday isn’t final for possible November night games. According to ESPN.com, others will be announced in the future. The Wisconsin-Iowa matchup Nov. 22 at Kinnick could be in play.
Here’s the ABC/ESPN schedule:
Virginia Tech at Ohio State, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Miami at Nebraska, 8 p.m. ET, ABC or ESPN or ESPN2
Nebraska at Michigan State, 8 p.m. ET, ABC or ESPN or ESPN2
Penn State at Michigan, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN or ESPN2*
Ohio State at Penn State, 8 p.m. ET, ABC or ESPN or ESPN2
Illinois at Ohio State, 8 p.m. ET, ABC or ESPN or ESPN2
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