Hawkmania football & basketball blog

Upset alert

The college football season kicks off in a little over three months, but the biggest upset of the year may have occured this week when the Big Ten unveiled schedules for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Iowa actually opens the conference season at home in both years, hosting Northwestern in 2015 and Minnesota in 2016.
Opening league play at home during the Kirk Ferentz era at Iowa has been a rarity.
It’s happened three times in Ferentz’ first 13 seasons on the Hawkeye sidelines and will occur again this fall when Minnesota visits Kinnick Stadium to open the Big Ten season on Sept. 29.
Iowa opened league play at home in 2001 and 2010 with wins over Penn State. The only other time the Hawkeyes have opened conference play at home under Ferentz was in 2008, when Iowa dropped a 22-17 game to Northwestern.
After this season, the next two league openers will be on the road, at Minnesota in 2013 and Wisconsin the following year.
That hasn’t necessarily been a good thing for Iowa. The Hawkeyes have gone 3-7 in Big Ten openers on the road under Ferentz, who has always described the Big Ten’s scheduling process as curious.
Even more curious is that Iowa will host its first two league games in 2015, opening Big Ten play at Kinnick with games against Northwestern and Michigan State on consecutive Saturdays.
The last time that happened?
It was 1977 when Bob Commings’ team opened Big Ten play with wins over Northwestern and Minnesota.
The Hawkeyes were 4-1 at that point, but finished the season 5-6 and won just one more Big Ten game, winning at Wisconsin.

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