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Ferentz tells players: If you want night games, 'go win'

[ 0 ] May 9, 2013 |

BURLINGTON, Ia. — It’s no mystery why Iowa’s football team won’t be playing any night games in 2013.

“It’s kind of like some of those predictions I’ve already read about in the paper,” Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz said Thursday before speaking to the Des Moines County I-Club. “It’s a by-product of not having a good year. We didn’t have a great year. So we’re just not that attractive right now. Our job is to get back up into the race.”

The Hawkeyes are coming off a 4-8 season, their worst since 2000. When the Big Ten Network released its 12-game prime time schedule last week, Iowa was left without a date. The same with the six prime time games released in late April involving Big Ten Conference teams that will be carried by ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

This will be the first time Iowa hasn’t had a prime time date since 2008, when the Hawkeyes were coming off a 6-6 season. Ferentz said he discussed the lack of a night game with his team recently.

“One thing about sports — if you win, good things come with it,” Ferentz said. “When you lose, it’s not so good. It’s simple. It’s a level playing field. Go win.”

The arrival of the Big Ten Network has brought more night games to the schedule, something Ferentz likes as the conference tries to keep itself in the public eye as much as possible. The Big Ten currently has a rule that doesn’t allow night games in November. That could change.
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“I think there’s a lot of support for playing night games in November, just for that reason,” Ferentz said, in reference to improved national visibility for the Big Ten. “I think it will happen. I wouldn’t be shocked at all.”

Ferentz has mixed feelings on night games involving his team.

“I love them at home and dislike them on the road,” Ferentz said. “(On the road), it’s a long day. The toughest part is just the travel home. If affects you for a day or two.”

Ferentz acknowledged that Kinnick Stadium is amped more than normal at night, and that can help recruiting if a number of prospects are on hand.

“But even on the road it’s typically amped up even more,” Ferentz said. “If you like playing or competing, it’s a good environment typically if you play at night.”

In addition to the lack of night games, next season’s underwhelming projections have been a subject of discussion between Ferentz and his team.

Athlon Sports’ annual preseason magazine, for example, recently predicted Iowa will finish last in the Big Ten’s Legends Division.

“But it’s not like win one for the Gipper,” Ferentz said. “We don’t tear the papers up and stuff like that. I just point out why we’re not playing night games. None of us should like it. But it doesn’t matter what you like or don’t like. Let’s go do something about it.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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