Now we know, and Iowa may have taken one for the team, but the bottom line is things shook out well for the Hawkeyes as the Big Ten divided into divisions. The Hawkeyes are joined by Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Minnesota and Northwestern while playing Purdue on a yearly basis as a "crossover rival." Take a step back and there is history with most of these teams. Hayden Fry created a competitive rivalry with Michigan in the 80s. Michigan State has become a series over the years with the winner being a toss up on many occasions. Minnesota has been a border rivalry, while Nebraska will become one. And Northwestern has been a thorn in Iowa's side over the last ten years.
But when I say Iowa may have taken one for the team I'm referring to the disappearance of Wisconsin from the Hawkeye's schedule. The Big Ten couldn't be perfect in setting up the divisions, and added one crossover game to secure other rivalries. However the Iowa - Wisconsin game couldn't be saved. So the Hawkeyes picked up Purdue. Yes, Purdue.
You could've accepted Purdue had they been in the same division, but it was a matter of two leftovers being put together. Michigan and Ohio State had to stay together as well as Wisconsin and Minnesota. But after that it was either Penn State or Indiana. Penn State has been a great team for Iowa to play over the last ten years, but every year it is a physical game and a long ways to travel for either fan base. Indiana? Well the same discussion would've occurred with them that we are having with Purdue. So while I'm not excited about playing Purdue every year rather than Wisconsin, it is a traditional Big Ten opponent that is a reasonable drive for the Iowa fan. And in my trips to West Lafayette since 1989, Hawkeye fans haven't had many troubles getting a ticket.
However I will miss the trip up 151. More memories to come in the future, but a look back at last year's game.