Thanksgiving Game Provides Clue About Future Big Ten Schedules
Nebraska and Iowa have been given approval by the Big Ten to continue playing on the Friday after Thanksgiving for the next two years. While that's perhaps not surprising for this coming fall, the approval for 2014 is the first tip of the hand about what future conference schedules will look like.
It seemed pretty unlikely prior to this announcement that Nebraska and Iowa were going to fall into different divisions. All three of the options presented by the Big Ten Network for fans to vote on at their web site had the two teams sharing a division. As the only border state for NU in the conference, it made sense for an annual Husker-Hawkeye series to continue.
Still, it's interesting that the conference was willing to lock in a game before divisions have been announced (or even officially determined). It's technically possible you could have the two schools in opposite divisions but playing the game across divisions. Though, it also seems likely that they'd want to give every school a chance to play a newcomer like Nebraska that hasn't had the chance to yet. Short of a designated cross-division opponent, Iowa could be stealing a spot that Indiana might feel entitled to. After all, hosting the Huskers tends to boost ticket sales.
It was always a good bet that Nebraska and Iowa would share a division. Now, it sounds safe to bank on the two schools playing each other for at least the next two seasons. And that game will keep its showcase spot on the day after Thanksgiving.