CHICAGO — Iowa will face one of the toughest Big Ten slates next year based on its single-play rotation.
Coach Fran McCaffery said this morning Iowa’s single-plays include Penn State (road), Indiana (road), Purdue (home) and Nebraska (home). Only Indiana qualified for the NCAA tournament of that four-team group.
– It seems the league will not split into multiple divisions for basketball. The basketball coaches met with athletics directors this morning and there was no discussion about divisions. It’s possible the league will consider an unbalanced scheduling format to accommodate rivalries such as Purdue-Indiana and Michigan-Michigan State.
– Basketball will remain at 18 league games.
– Both Wisconsin Athletics Director Barry Alvarez and Penn State Athletics Director Dave Joyner said there’s been no discussion about expansion. (insert your favorite snarky remark here)
“It’s not an active discussion,” Joyner said.
– The bowl lineup continues to take shape. Alvarez said it looks likely the league will pick up the Pinstripe and Holiday bowls, while Joyner said it’s likely to stay somewhere in Texas. Nothing is signed or finalized.
“It sure seems like it,” Alvarez said about the Pinstripe Bowl. “I think everybody’s in favor of that.”
“I think New York City around Christmastime is one of the most beautiful places in the world, or around the holidays,” Joyner said. “I think people will find it’s a really great place to play”
Alvarez was an assistant under Hayden Fry when the Hawkeyes competed in the Holiday Bowl in 1986 and 1987.
“I think all of us are very positive about the Holiday Bowl,” Alvarez said. “When I was at Iowa, we played in it for years. It was a great bowl. I don’t think we’ve signed anything, but I know that’s one that we’d be interested in.”
– Everybody seems happy with geographical divisions for football. Illinois AD Mike Thomas said he was excited to renew his rivalry with Iowa as was Alvarez. Joyner likes being conjoined (pun intended) with newcomers Rutgers and Maryland.
“We’re really happy with the mix,” Joyner said. “Geography is the right way to go. There’s lots of reasons. It’s pretty much unanimous. We talk about everything. It was pretty much a strong consensus that geographic orientation is the best way to go. I think we’re very excited about Maryland and Rutgers being very close by.
“Who knows 10 years from now who the powers are going to be? It comes and goes sometimes.”
– The 2014 football schedule will be released on Wednesday. It’s likely the 2015 schedule will follow.
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