We learned a few weeks ago that Iowa would have not one, but two primetime kickoffs in 2015 (home games against Pitt and Minnesota) and that they would be televised by BTN. We also knew that the 10/10 game against Illinois (Homecoming) would kick off at 11 AM CT and that the 10/17 game at Northwestern (their Homecoming) would also kick off at 11 AM CT. Now we know a bit more information about the early season schedule:
Iowa-Iowa State football set for 3:30pm CT (Fox).— Chad Leistikow (@ChadLeistikow) June 1, 2015
That's a slightly later start (3;30 CT versus 2:30 CT) than the typical afternoon start times, but hey -- one more hour to pre-emptively drink the pain away before playing Iowa State, right? I was a bit surprised to see FOX -- that is, FOX the actual broadcast network -- announced as the TV broadcaster for the game. After all, Iowa State went 2-10 last season and Iowa stumbled to a 7-6 finish which included three straight losses to the end the season, including a not-as-close-as-the-score-suggests 45-28 hamblasting at the hands of Tennessee in the Gator Bowl. Neither team is generating much in the way of positive buzz in the lead-up to the 2015 campaign; the most pressing question for both teams might be how many games their head coaches need to win this fall to stave off a dismissal.
But it makes a bit more sense that FOX would tab the Cy-Hawk Rivalry for broadcast when you see the schedules for the Big 12 and Pac 12 (the two leagues with which FOX has contractual agreements:
I mean... those games pretty much suck. Oklahoma-Tennessee and Oregon-Michigan State are the clear picks of the litter there, but those games are happening at SEC and Big Ten sites, which means FOX doesn't have the rights to air them. Ditto two other Power 5-vs-Power 5 match-ups (Oregon State- Michigan and Washington State-Rutgers). Iowa-Iowa State is the only P5-v-P5 game that FOX has the rights to that day; throw in the fact that it's a rivalry game (which gives it some added juice) and the fact that the games are often close (whether they have any right to be or not) and it starts to make a little more sense. In any event: hey, you don't need cable to watch Iowa play Iowa State this fall.
Meanwhile, if you want a snapshot of Iowa's 2015 schedule with all the TV and kickoff information that we have, here you go, courtesy Rivals:
More information about the Illinois State and North Texas games should become available as we get closer to the regular season (though you can probably pencil both games in as 11 AM CT kickoffs on BTN). The TV and kickoff information for the remaining Big Ten games likely won't be decided until a few weeks before each game. And now you can begin planning your Fall Saturdays accordingly -- or at least some of them.