The Big Ten Network confirmed Wednesday on a prime time special that the Hawkeyes will be part of the ‘O’ Division, along with Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Northwestern.
The ‘X’ Division features Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, and Wisconsin.
The shift means that Iowa and Wisconsin are no longer guaranteed to meet annually.
Under the new divisional format each team plays all five teams in their division, plus three teams from the opposite division.
Each school will have one protected rivalry in the opposite division that will be played every year. Wisconsin’s is Minnesota and Iowa’s ended up being Purdue.
The others are Ohio State-Michigan, Nebraska-Penn State, Illinois-Northwestern, and Indiana-Michigan State. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said Ohio State-Michigan will continue to play the final week of the regular season.
The loss of the Badgers on the schedule is a significant one for the Hawkeyes. The two schools have played 85 times since their first meeting in 1894, including in 71 of the past 73 years.
A traveling trophy — a giant brass bull dubbed “The Heartland Trophy” — was introduced in 2004. Iowa hosts Wisconsin Oct. 23 this fall and leads the all-time series 42-41-2. The Badgers are not on the 2011 schedule.
Iowa did keep its rivalry with Minnesota. The two schools have met 103 times and have battle for one of the most famous traveling trophies in college football, Floyd of Rosedale, a bronze pig.
In addition, Iowa will start a new border rivalry with Big Ten newcomer Nebraska. The two teams have played 41 times total, but only twice in the past 38 years. They are scheduled to meet next fall on the final weekend, Nov. 26, in Lincoln, Neb.
Purdue is a bit of an odd match for a protected rivalry for Iowa. The two schools have not played in six different years since Penn State joined the league in 1993 and don’t have a traveling trophy.
But the two schools have played 81 times, which is the third-most of any Hawkeye opponent behind Minnesota (103) and Wisconsin (85).
The Big Ten will expand to 12 teams next fall with the addition of Nebraska, which was admitted as in July. There will be a Big Ten Championship game next season played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Of course, Delany has said that the league is looking at shifting to a nine-game league schedule in the future, which means teams would end up playing four teams from the opposite division.
Delany also said the divisions were for football only.
Iowa’s 2011 Big Ten schedule: Oct. 1, bye; Oct. 8, at Penn State; Oct. 15, Northwestern; Oct. 22, Indiana; Oct. 29, at Minnesota; Nov. 5, Michigan; Nov. 12, Michigan State; Nov. 19, at Purdue; Nov. 26, at Nebraska.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football