Iowa vs. NebraskaThe talk is heating up of a season-ending show down between Iowa and Nebraska. Iowa has traditionally played Minnesota to end the season, but with the addition Nebraska and with the necessary splitting up the divisions, tradition is losing its importance. An Iowa-Nebraska rivalry game would certainly provide more national appeal than Iowa-Minnesota and depending on how the divisions come out, could provide a pseudo divisional championship game if the two schools keep playing at their current level.
Nebraksa's Athletic Director said at the Media Days that the Husker fans want the rivalry game to happen.
There's been a lot of discussion among our fans, about playing Iowa. So, I think any alignment where Nebraska didn't play Iowa would probably not be as well received by our fans.
Kirk Ferentz had similar things to say about the game.
It makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons and I think certainly being from Iowa, I think a lot of people in our state are excited. When I travel around the state, that's one of the more asked questions, when are we going to play [Nebraska] again.
I used to be on the "let's honor traditions" boat and keep playing Minnesota, but my apathetic feelings toward Nebraska keep building and I have converted over to believing the Huskers should be the big rival.
Of course, this will all depend on how the divisions are aligned. I have been consistently arguing for a straight East-West alignment that would put Iowa and Nebraska in the same division. Based on the winning percentages of the past 17 years (the timeline laid out by Jim Daleny for factoring competitive balance), I do not see a reason that this cannot happen. If for whatever reason, though, the Hawkeyes and Huskers end up in opposing division, I hope that the Big Ten institutes an SEC-like crossover protected rival that would match up the two schools. This game will be too big to not play every year.