Iowa AD doesn't know if 'Black Friday' game with Nebraska will continue

By Tom Fornelli | Staff Writer
The future of Iowa and Nebraska playing a game on Black Friday is up in the air. (US Presswire)

It's hard to call it a tradition considering it has only happened in the last two seasons, but this season's game between Iowa and Nebraska on "Black Friday" might have been the last time the two teams meet on Friday morning.

When the idea was first shared with Iowa after Nebraska joined the Big Ten, Iowa only agreed to trying it twice: once on each campus. Now that both games have been played, Iowa athletic director Gary Barta is not sure the series will continue in such a fashion.

“We've done that,” Barta told kcrg.com. “Now we'll talk and see if we're going to continue it.”

The truth is, with Rutgers and Maryland joining the Big Ten in 2014 and the Big Ten possibly going to a nine-game conference schedule, there's no guarantee the two schools will be able to continue the new tradition even if they want to.

Barta points out there are positives and negatives to playing the game the day after Thanksgiving.

“[National exposure is] one of the benefits,” Barta said. “One of the challenges, and I've talked to a lot of our fans that say a Friday is more challenging. They're trying to be with family on Thanksgiving and then they try to get to Iowa City. Again, I can make a case where it works well, and I can make a case where we should go back to Saturday. As of yet, we haven't done anything to finalize it.”

Of course, the national exposure is not always a benefit, as anybody who watched this year's game can attest to, as Nebraska won an ugly 13-7 contest. Still, the game has been broadcast nationally by ABC the last two seasons. If it is moved to Saturday, odds are the game will be lost in the shadow of the Michigan-Ohio State game.

Whatever decision is made, Barta says it will have to come soon for "planning purposes."

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