Miller: Iowa-Nebraska Turkey Tradition

March 7, 2011

Written by Jon Miller

Nebraska and Oklahoma had the post Thanksgiving Day spotlight on them for a while in these parts. Not just these parts, but across the nation.

The formation of the Big 12 killed that and the Cornhuskers and Colorado Buffaloes have played a contrived rivalry game on that date since.

It was never Nebraska-Oklahoma, but it was on the day after Thanksgiving, so I always watched it.

Now, the Hawkeyes and Huskers will play the day after Thanksgiving, at least for the first two years of the new Big Ten rivalry.  My guess is that will last well beyond those two years and perhaps blossom into a decades old tradition by the time I turn real old and gray.

Since the Big Ten decided to play games after Thanksgiving, I think this is the best case scenario for Iowa.  It will be a featured game played to the nation on a day where just a handful of real meaningful games are played.  The Iron Bowl is certainly the marquee national matchup that day from an historical perspective, but in the Heartland, the Hawkeyes vs the Huskers is going to play well.

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This means Iowa doesn’t compete with Michigan-Ohio State the following day.  Depending on when this game is played (11:00am ABC or Big Ten Network start for a national audience would be good placement to avoid head to head with the Iron Bowl), most of the eyes of the college football nation will be on the Hawks and Huskers.

That’s good news for Iowa’s football program, because this has never been the case this late into the season.

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Iowa has close to two years to figure out how to make sure student ticket holders that leave town for the Thanksgiving Holiday are able to get their tickets into the hands of Hawkeye fans to attend the game.

I also think this will become the toughest ticket on Iowa’s slate every other year, as family traditions will pop up surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday…Turkeys…I mean Huskers and Hawkeyes.

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That sounds like a nice American tradition

NOTE:  Dennis Dodd of CBS tweeted that the Iron Bowl may be moved back to Saturday this coming season

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