Fans of night football, rejoice. Kinnick Stadium will not be going night game-free for the first time since 2008 (and just the second time since 2005) this fall. ABC/ESPN might not be interested in airing any of Iowa's games in primetime this fall (which is a function of a schedule that lacks sizzle in September and October as much as it is Iowa's disappointing 2010 campaign), but our good friends at BTN will be stepping in to fill the void, airing just Northwestern's trip to Iowa City on October 15, 2011.
If you're a fan of meaningless statistics, here's one to try on for size: since night games really came into vogue for Big Ten teams circa the mid-'00s, Iowa has a pretty solid record in games contested under the lights, 8-3 (which includes their last two bowl wins). That also includes a three-game winning streak in night games at Kinnick (Syracuse '07, Michigan '09, Penn State '10). Meanwhile, in another statistical note of dubious value (read: none whatsoever), every game in Iowa's recent run of futility against Northwestern has kicked off at 11am. Obviously the problem wasn't magic potatoes, inopportune injuries, Persa heroics, or random insanity -- it was the start time. Yep. (No it wasn't.)
The game is the second of a three-game stretch of primetime games featuring Northwestern on BTN, so we can also hope that Northwestern will be tuckered out by their night game exertions and ripe for a beating on October 15. (They won't be.) After all it's SCIENCE FACT that nerds are early-risers who perform best in the morning hours; these evening contests will be concluding long after the average Northwestern nerdballer's bedtime.
The Iowa-jNW game is Iowa's only appearance in primetime this fall; you can find the full list of primetime B1G games here. The only question now is what color gimmick Iowa will use for this game; they busted out the frankly outstanding "gold rush" promotion for the 2006 Ohio State game, declared the 2009 Michigan game a "blackout" game, and debuted the surprisingly awesome "black-and-gold" bumblebee effect at last year's Penn State game. My guess is they try to recapture the mojo of the "black-and-gold" look from last year.