CHICAGO – The Big Ten is devoted to a nine-game conference schedule for football.
And that’s good news for those who cherish the annual Iowa-Iowa State showdown.
“To play a home-and-home series, it has to fall just right,” Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said Tuesday during league meetings. “As it turned out with our Iowa State series, we were able to continue it uninterrupted.”
The conference announced it is adopting a nine-game schedule starting in 2016. Some wondered, though, if the Big Ten would eventually move to 10 games.
According to Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, that’s not financially practical.
“Ten really presents a problem in scheduling,” Alvarez said. “Everyone wants seven home games. You work on seven home games to balance your budget.
“You’d have two nonconference games, and if you’re playing FBS (teams), most of them are going to be home-and-home, and so it’s impossible to play seven home games, if you have 10 (conference games).”
Alvarez added: “I think all of us would like to have 10, but scheduling-wise, it creates a problem.”
Future schedules have teams from the Big Ten’s newly aligned East Division hosting five conference games during even-numbered years, while West Division teams host five conference home games in odd-numbered years.
The Hawkeyes, members of the West, will continue to host Iowa State in even-numbered years.
“The unique challenge we have is (the Cyclones) are not in our conference,” Barta said. “Our number one goal is to win the Big Ten Conference, and whatever beyond that.
“But because our in-state rival is there – it’s great for the game, it’s great for the state – it just doesn’t apply to that number one goal.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football