The talented Pete Jones of “Des Moines is Not Boring” was unhappy about the pairing of Iowa and Purdue in the “cross-rival” game. In fact, everyone was unhappy about it. As I put it, to quote Meat Loaf, “two out of three ain’t bad.” I would rather have Nebraska and Minnesota, lose Wisconsin for two years, and make Purdue a rival for the good of conference. It’s business, eyeballs, and ratings.
Last year’s 11-5 Iowa win over Penn State didn’t move the ABC national ratings barometer. Never have, never will. Nebraska vs. Penn State in the past have moved the meter. It’s a sexier match-up between two tradition-laden programs.
Yes, Pete, it’s not fair and shouldn’t matter, but the Big 10 needs as much national exposure to bolster it’s “brand.” Just like we do when we have to promote our blogs, our skills, and our names.
Let’s look at the big picture: Iowa is a big winner with this division set-up. Michigan’s struggling and Nebraska will be getting their feet wet. Minnesota and Michigan State are, well, Minnesota and Michigan State, and Northwestern will be a thorn in Iowa’s side.
Winner winner chicken alfredo dinner.
Be happy that Iowa will continue their rivalry with Minnesota. That game has a lot of history and they play for Floyd of Rosedale. Be happy that Iowa will finally get their wish and play Nebraska every year. Expect to skip Thanksgiving dinner and start tailgating in Lincoln that night. The Hawks and the Huskers will play the Friday after Turkey Day.
Don’t let a little hang-up like having the Boilermakers as a “cross-divisional” rival be a big issue.