The start of the 2018-2019 season is quickly approaching and our #2 Hawkeyes still don’t know who we’re crushing and where we’re crushing them. There are a few teams in the B1G that have yet to release their complete schedules and Iowa is included in that group of uncertainty.
Thanks to a league mandate, we know we must face and destroy nine B1G teams. Eight of the nine are (more or less) chiseled in, but the ninth and final victim is still a question mark. To an extent.
Here’s a look at what we know so far:
11/9: @ Kent State
12/1: Iowa State
Dec 29-30: Midlands Championships
1/13: @ Minnesota
1/25: @ Illinois
1/27: @ Northwestern
2/3: @ Nebraska
2/17: @ Wisconsin
3/9-10: B1G Championships
3/21-23: NCAA Championships
Simple math tells us that’s only 6. But due to the home-away-off rotation Jim Delany has forced on the B1G, Rutgers, Maryland, and maybe Indiana are all coming to Iowa City. More than likely they slot in between the ISU massacre and our 6th straight Midlands Championship. Thanks to Minnesota wanting to be a permanent rival, they require their yearly ass kicking in January, but everyone else gets a pass because we’ve faced them the past two seasons. So that means: No Michigan. No Ohio State. No Penn State.
Oklahoma State has also become a mainstay, but nothing has been solidified. Perhaps Brands and Co. are trying to fill the seats Nov. 17? Perhaps we’re looking at Grapple on the Gridiron 2.0? Our Football team is in Illinois that weekend soooooo… And we all remember what happened last time they picked a fight with us in Kinnick.
Iowa typically attends the Luther Open. I expect they’ll go, which this year is Nov 10, but with Kent State being the day before that may be a question mark as well. The past two seasons we’ve had the Iowa City Duals the following week. It’s purely speculation on my part, but with Buffalo not returning Iowa may drop the duals and go in another direction.
It seems the Hawks aim for at least fifteen duals per season, so we can assume one or two teams will be added to the mix. PSU and tOSU have a few open days in mid February so hopefully phone calls and logistics are currently in play and that’s why we don’t have a definitive answer. Though for this to happen, it’s squarely on the shoulders of the respective schools to make it work. Remember back in 2013 when we weren’t supposed to face PSU?
The only other option my limited vision can see is a possible matchup with Northern Iowa. Doug Schwab is doing some great work up north and has his squad knocking on the door of a top 10 ranking. If we’re lucky enough to land them, they’d be a great early season test and arguably the best team we face if the others don’t pan out.
So far this is a less than impressive schedule! And what about all dem away duals, doh? That’s a rough road leading up to March. Ohio St, Michigan, and Penn State all finished in the top four at the NCAA’s last year and them dropping off our schedule doesn’t help the excitement. In fact, it hurts. And it does put our 12 year NCAA attendance record in jeopardy.
Unfortunately, this is the same crap the plagues the B1G with their football schedules. It seems that every year there’s usually a big time game left off the books because they must stick to “The Code.” By that I mean their shitty schedule rotation that is always less than desirable. It pains me to include our bitter rivals in the word “we,” but we’re the best programs in the nation and we don’t get to face off until December. This is asinine.
Anywho, I asked The Magic Eight Ball and it tells me, “It Is Certain,” that the schedule will be released within two weeks. Let’s see how close I am.
...I expect not very.