Nebraska's new athletic director wants a Big Ten rival, and he wants Iowa to be that rival.
Bill Moos made an appearance on Husker Sports Nightly Monday night and not only said he wants to keep the Huskers’ season-ending matchup alive, but he’s already begun taking the necessary steps to do so.
“I'm going to really push to establish Iowa as being our rival,” Moos said on the show. “We came into the Big Ten and we need a rivalry game.”
The Huskers began playing on Black Friday in 1990, with annual matchups against Oklahoma until the Big 12 conference formed after the 1995 season and Colorado replaced the Sooners as Nebraska’s end-of-the-year opponent. The two played on the Friday after Thanksgiving every year until Nebraska left to join the Big Ten in 2011, providing no shortage of memories. Remember this?
The game wasn’t an issue until this season, when former athletic director Shawn Eichorst announced Nebraska would be moving away from the tradition altogether following the 2019 season in favor of a four-team rotation between Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. That wasn’t received well and Eichorst was fired within a week.
“I've already been to the Big Ten and talked to them about that [game] so hopefully we can keep that Black Friday game and have that be Iowa each year,” Moos said on Sports Nightly.
The Huskers and Hawkeyes have split the six games they’ve played since Nebraska came into the fold, with Iowa owning the most recent win. Head coach Mike Riley said Monday the final game of the season is carrying a little more weight with his team as they try to end on a high note. He too wants to see Iowa become a tried and true rival.
“I love the idea,” he said. “Don’t you guys think that’s what it should be? I mean, it feels right. With the amount of time that we’ve been in the Big Ten, with the proximity there just seems like a lot of common ground there and it’s right over there. It feels like it should be embraced in that way.”
Moos said more of the same Monday night.
“It's a disappointing season but it's always good to finish on a high note,” he said, “and we can still do that here at home.”
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.