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Big Ten Announces 2020, 2021 Conference Football Schedules for Iowa

The Hawkeyes open the 2021 season at home against Indiana.

NCAA Football: Iowa at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten released its conference football schedules for the 2020 and 2021 seasons this afternoon, and Iowa is in for a whale of a time in 2020. As is now the norm, Iowa will play nine conference games and while it doesn’t appear that Friday games are set into anyone’s schedules, we now know who the Hawkeyes will play in each given week during those seasons.

Below are the tentative schedules for 2020 and 2021, with known non-conference games in italics.


Sept. 5: vs Northern Illinois
Sept. 12: vs Iowa State
Sept. 19: at Minnesota
Oct. 3: vs Michigan State
Oct. 10: at Ohio State
Oct. 17: at Penn State
Oct. 24: vs Northwestern
Nov. 7: at Illinois
Nov. 14: vs Nebraska
Nov. 21: at Purdue
Nov. 28: vs Wisconsin


Sept. 4: vs Indiana
Sept. 11: at Iowa State
Oct. 2: at Northwestern
Oct. 9: vs Penn State
Oct. 23: at Maryland
Oct. 30: vs Purdue
Nov. 6: at Nebraska
Nov. 13: vs Minnesota
Nov. 20: vs Illinois
Nov. 27: at Wisconsin

Some notes:

  • The Hawkeyes open the 2021 season with a conference game, playing Indiana at home. Ohio State and Indiana kicked off the Big Ten season with a conference game this year, and it looks like those games are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
  • Similarly, it appears as though the Hawks will get a non-conference opponent in the middle of the 2020 conference season. Iowa draws the Gophers in Week 3 and doesn’t have a game scheduled in Week 4 or Week 9. Best guess? They’ll schedule something for Week 4.
  • At the other end of the schedule, Iowa will no longer be ending the season with a Black Friday game against Nebraska starting in 2020. The Hawkeyes will instead play the Badgers to end the regular season and Nebraska will close theirs against Minnesota during these two years. Could Iowa play a Black Friday game against Wisconsin? Well, Kirk Ferentz and Gary Barta aren’t saying it won’t happen.
  • 2020’s schedule looks rough, at least looking at it in 2017. Iowa kicks off their October at home against Michigan State (who could very well return to form by 2020), and then travel to Ohio State and Penn State the following two weeks. Talk about a rough three weeks of cross-division contests.
  • 2021’s crossover games don’t look quite as daunting - Iowa plays Penn State, Indiana, and Maryland, with only the latter coming on the road.
  • The home games in 2021 look pretty ugly right now, as Iowa is set to face Indiana, Penn State, Illinois, Purdue, and Minnesota in Kinnick. A lot can change in the next four years, but these aren’t exactly marquee games.
  • 2020’s home schedule is much more palatable - Iowa State, Michigan State, Northwestern, Nebraska, and Wisconsin all at home. Delicious.

For the rest of the Big Ten schedules in 2020 and 2021, click here.