When the Big Ten Conference created the Iowa/Nebraska Black Friday game it was hoped the annual clash would have division title implications on a regular basis. This may finally be the year according to publisher and college football prognosticator Phil Steele, who has the Hawkeyes as the favorite to repeat as West Division champion and predicts the Huskers will be one of the nations most improved teams after a 6-7 finish a year ago.
The teams have yet to meet with a trip to the Big Ten Championship Game on the line. When Nebraska won the division title in 2012, Iowa was only a four-win team and this past season the Hawkeyes had already clinched the division title when they visited Memorial Stadium.
Steele believes the division will come down to the November 25 game in Kinnick Stadium because Wisconsin’s schedule, which includes Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State, will be too difficult to keep the Badgers in contention.
“They do only have 12 returning starters and with that schedule I have got Wisconsin falling to third”, said Steele. I do think it is Iowa or Nebraska, but Northwestern could be a sleeper.”
In the five games played between the two since Nebraska joined the Big Ten the home team has won only once.