Hawks find out where they stand in new Big Ten - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hawks find out where they stand in new Big Ten

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CHICAGO (KWWL)-- The University of Iowa football team will compete in a division with Big Ten conference newcomer Nebraska, along with Northwestern, Michigan, Michigan State and Minnesota.  The other division will consist of Indiana, Illinois, Penn State, Purdue, Ohio State and Wisconsin.

The Big Ten Conference will stage its inaugural championship football game in December of 2011 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.  Future championship game sites have not yet been determined.

"From the very beginning I believed the Big Ten Conference's expansion plan was very thorough and well thought out," said Gary Barta, UI's Director of Athletics.  "Exactly the same can be said about the process that we've just completed, with one significant footnote:  I was very excited about how my peers, the directors of athletics, worked together during the past few weeks to solve each other's challenges as best we could."

"Commissioner Delany and the expansion committee did an outstanding job," said Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz.  "The divisions appear to be a very good competitive and geographical balance. We continue to look forward to the inclusion of Nebraska into the Big Ten and we, as Hawkeyes, look forward to competing with them every year."

Iowa will meet Nebraska Nov. 26 in Lincoln to conclude the 2011 season.  Iowa and Nebraska, both ranked in the top 25 heading into the 2010 season, have met 41 times in football, with Nebraska holding a 26-12-3 advantage.  The Cornhuskers defeated Iowa 42-13, in Lincoln, early in the 2000 season, in the most recent meeting.

Iowa's remaining conference schedule in 2011 includes home games with Northwestern (Oct. 15), Indiana (Oct. 22), Michigan (Nov. 5) and Michigan State (Nov. 12).  Additional road games are at Penn State (Oct. 8), Minnesota (Oct. 29) and Purdue (Nov. 19).  Iowa's non-conference schedule remains intact, with home games vs. Tennessee Tech, Pittsburgh and Louisiana-Monroe and a road contest at Iowa State. 

With Iowa placed in the same division as Minnesota, the Hawkeyes and Gophers will continue to battle for Floyd of Rosedale on an annual basis.  With Iowa and Wisconsin in separate divisions, the battle for the recently added Heartland Trophy will not take place in 2011 and 2012.

Iowa holds a series advantage over Northwestern and Michigan State, but trails Nebraska, Michigan and Minnesota.  Teams will play all members of their division each year, along with an annual meeting with one opponent from the opposite division and two cross-division teams on a rotating basis.  Iowa's annual opponent from the East Division is Purdue.

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