The 2016 college football season is still about four months away, but information about the schedule -- or rather, the start times -- of certain games is beginning to leak out. For instance, we now Iowa is likely going to be hosting two night games this fall. ESPN released their schedule of Big Ten games in primetime this fall -- and it includes Iowa's home against Michigan on November 12. Iowa confirmed that and also revealed that the game will be a Blackout game, much like Iowa's November night game against Minnesota last year:
Iowa, Michigan to Meet in Prime Time in Iowa City. #Hawkeyes https://t.co/GD79ZZGcwQ pic.twitter.com/CleBGRSzj3— IowaFBLive (@IowaFBLive) May 2, 2016
We'll have to wait to find out if Iowa will again be donning alternate uniforms for this Blackout game and if they are wearing alternate uniforms, if they're the same as last year's alternates or a different look. Iowa has played Michigan in a night game previously -- back in Iowa's magical 2009 regular season, Denard Robinson nearly lead Michigan to a furious comeback victory over Iowa before a Brett Greenwood interception sealed the win for Iowa:
Michigan, like Iowa, is expected to be one of the top contenders in their division this year, so if both teams live up to their expectations, this could be a massive late season game for both teams. It could also be a preview of the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis a few weeks later. And if both teams are having really good campaigns, Iowa City might even play host to College Gameday that Saturday.
BTN has not officially announced their night games yet (though they are expected to do so soon), but ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy (who tends to have very good information) released a list of BTN night games in September, which includes one Iowa game:
.@BigTenNetwork primetime: 9-1 OregonSt at Minnesota; 9-3 FresnoSt at Nebraska; 9-10 UNC at Illinois, ISU at Iowa; 9-17 Duke at N’western— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) April 28, 2016
That would appear to confirm some recent rumors of this year's Cy-Hawk clash being a night game in Kinnick Stadium. Iowa athletic director Gary Barta has historically been negative on the idea of Iowa-Iowa State being played at night, mainly due to public safety concerns, but he's also seemed to soften on that stance recently. Still, an Iowa-Iowa State night game figures to be a festival of extreme drunkenness and possible debauchery for fans of both teams.
It seems fitting for 2016 to see Iowa hosting two night games, considering that 2016 is the ten-year anniversary of night games becoming a fairly regular occurrence at Iowa. Iowa had hosted night games before 2006, of course, but 2006 saw Iowa host Ohio State in a primetime game on ABC. The game itself went fairly poorly (Ohio State was a juggernaut that year, while Iowa was... not), but everything else about the night game experience was tremendous. Since that game, Iowa has hosted seven night games, going 6-1 in those games (the lone loss coming against Penn State in the 2012 season).
|1992||Miami (FL)||L, 24-7|
|1999||Northern Illinois||W, 24-0|
|2002||Iowa State (5 PM CT)||L, 36-31|
|2003||Arizona State (5 PM CT)||W, 21-2|
|2004||at Arizona State||L, 44-7|
|2006||Ohio State||L, 38-17|
|2007||at Wisconsin||L, 17-13|
|2008||at Minnesota (6 PM CT)||W, 55-0|
|2009||at Penn State||W, 21-10|
|2009||at Michigan State||W, 15-13|
|2010||at Arizona||L, 34-28|
|2010||Penn State||W, 24-3|
|2012||Penn State||L, 38-14|
|2013||at Iowa State (5 PM CT)||W, 27-21|
In all, Iowa has gone 12-7 in regular season night games, including 8-4 in games played at Kinnick Stadium.
The full ESPN/ABC schedule of Big Ten primetime games is available here; Ohio State will be playing in four straight primetime games on ESPN/ABC.