IOWA CITY, IOWA - - The University of Iowa football schedule in both 2013 and 2014 will include games against all five members of the Legends Division, along with contests against Wisconsin, Ohio State and Purdue of the Leaders Division of the Big Ten Conference. The future schedules were released Tuesday by the Big Ten Conference office.
As is the case in each of the next two seasons, Iowa, a member of the Legends Division, will meet Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern every year. The changes from the first two seasons of division play include Wisconsin and Ohio State replacing Penn State and Indiana on the Hawkeye schedule.
"We have a lot of tough football games between now and 2013," said Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz. "Playing a solid non-conference schedule and eight Big Ten games each year, we know every season will be challenging, no matter who the opponents might be."
In 2013, Iowa's non-conference schedule includes home games with Northern Illinois, Missouri State and Western Michigan, along with a contest at Iowa State. The Hawkeyes begin Big Ten play Sept. 28 at Minnesota and host Michigan State the following week before an open week. Iowa then plays at Ohio State, Northwestern, Wisconsin, and at Purdue before a second open week. The season ends with a home contest against Michigan and a road game at Nebraska. Iowa and the Cornhuskers will meet on the Friday after Thanksgiving in both 2011 and 2012.
Iowa, in 2014, opens the season with consecutive home games against Northern Iowa, Ball State and Iowa State, before traveling to Pittsburgh. Iowa has an open date Sept. 27 before beginning conference play at Wisconsin. Following a second open weekend, Iowa has consecutive games at Ohio State, Purdue, at Michigan, at Northwestern, Minnesota, at Michigan State and Nebraska. The 2013 and 2014 football seasons are 14 weeks long, which means teams will play 12 games and each school will receive two bye dates during conference play.
"Iowa and Wisconsin fans will no doubt enjoy having that game return to the schedule," added Ferentz. "Our meetings in recent years have been tough, classic Big Ten football games that are highly anticipated by fans of both programs. I would anticipate that will continue to be the case when we meet again."
Iowa and Wisconsin have met each year since 1995, but will not play during the regular season the next two years. The series between the two teams is tied 42-42-2. The Hawkeyes and Badgers have battled for the Heartland Trophy for the last seven seasons, with Iowa holding a 4-3 advantage.
The most recent schedule release also means that Iowa and Illinois will not meet during the regular season until at least 2015. The teams have not met since 2008.
Each league school will play the other five schools within its division and will also face three teams from the other division, including one cross-division matchup guaranteed on an annual basis. The guaranteed cross-division matchups are Iowa-Purdue, Michigan-Ohio State, Michigan State-Indiana, Minnesota-Wisconsin, Nebraska-Penn State and Northwestern-Illinois.
The champions of the Legends Division and the Leaders Division will meet in the Big Ten Football Championship Game on the first Saturday of December, with the winner earning the Big Ten Championship and a chance to play in the Rose Bowl Game or Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game. The inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game will be played in prime time on December 3, 2011, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, while the second Big Ten Football Championship Game is scheduled for Dec. 1, 2012, at a site to be determined. FOX Sports will serve as the official broadcast partner of the 2011-16 Big Ten Football Championship Games.
Here are Iowa's 2013 and 2014 schedules:
Aug. 31, Northern Illinois; Sept. 7, Missouri State; Sept. 14, at Iowa State; Sept. 21, Western Michigan; Sept. 28, at Minnesota; Oct. 5, Michigan State; Oct. 12, open; Oct. 19, at Ohio State; Oct. 26, Northwestern; Nov. 2, Wisconsin; Nov. 9, at Purdue; Nov. 16, open; Nov. 23, Michigan; Nov. 30, at Nebraska.
Aug. 30, Northern Iowa; Sept. 6, Ball State; Sept. 13, Iowa State; Sept. 20, at Pittsburgh; Sept. 27, open; Oct. 4, at Wisconsin; Oct. 11, open; Oct. 18, Ohio State; Oct. 25, Purdue; Nov. 1, at Michigan; Nov. 8, at Northwestern; Nov. 15, Minnesota; Nov. 22, at Michigan State; Nov. 29, Nebraska.