Sorry, Iowa State. We’ve had a good run. But it’s over. The Hawkeyes need to break up with you.
It’s not you. It’s us.
See, the Big Ten has painted us into a corner by making us play nine conference football games a year. Like Rob Howe explained, we want to make sure we still get seven home games a year, and frankly, that makes it difficult to continue our home-and-home series, no matter how much the state enjoys it.
This isn’t some backhanded slight against you. It’s not a commentary on the quality of your program. You have a good coach who squats in dress shoes. All signs point to you moving up in the Big 12.
We need to see other teams in Kinnick. Maybe we can still get together once in a while to reminisce, relive old times, see what happens. Over the long term, however, the Hawkeyes need to try to set up home-and-homes against nationally relevant teams. We won’t always beat them, but when we do, it will move us one step closer to the ultimate goal of a national championship.
We didn’t come to this decision lightly. There’s something special about Iowa-Iowa State weekend, but unfortunately that feeling doesn’t mean much over the long run, not with teams like this landing on Iowa’s schedule.
Also, that grocery store chain that sponsors our game is not going to be happy, but at least they now have Mark Wahlberg’s helpful smile in every aisle to ease the blow.
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All good things reach their end, Cyclones. The Iowa-Iowa State football series is no exception. If the University of Iowa athletic department chooses to act in the best interests of its football program, some day soon we’ll refer to the annual Hawkeye-Cyclone football game in the past tense.
You may have missed this bit of news from late last week. I nearly did.
The NCAA has banned two-a-day football practices. Well, football teams can still have two practices a day, but they can only have contact drills during one of them.
The action, which received support from the NCAA’s Sports Science Institute, eliminates the time-honored tradition of making football players run head first into one another just hours after they finished running head first into one another.
It’s a significant move by the NCAA, and it’s the right call.
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Beyond a crisp spring night, don’t expect to get much out of the experience. Akrum Wadley remains surrounded by bubble wrap (not that I’m complaining), and nothing definitive will be decided at quarterback. Who knows, maybe they’ll hold a raffle and one lucky fan will get a scholarship to play in Iowa’s secondary.
But there are worse ways to spend a Friday night, and in the past the UI athletic department has tied some sort of charitable function to the exhibition, like a canned food drive.
And finally, I have no idea whether new Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck can coach as well as he can hype, but it sure does look like his Gophers are having some fun:
* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.