For Hawkeye fans, last year’s home schedule was brutal. I am not referring to the level of competition, but rather the big name draws were noticeably lacking from the home schedule. This is no disrespect to any of Iowa’s competition, but as far as the conference slate goes Purdue, Rutgers, Maryland, and Indiana don’t typically setup a ton of marquee matches that are going to draw fans in droves to pack Carver-Hawkeye. The team did luck out in the fact that one of their annual rivalries took place at home, and looking back that Iowa State dual was Iowa’s only close call at home with the Hawks edging the Cyclones 19-18.
But this year’s schedule will be a hard 180 degree turn. Last year we knew Iowa’s schedule was going to be rather light both in terms of away and home duals due to an unfortunate quirk in the Big Ten scheduling rotation. It’s disappointing when the conference’s power programs end up not facing one another caused by an off year rotation, but for Iowa to miss the likes of Penn State, Ohio State, and Michigan was a real shot to the gut when giving fans a complete dual to look forward to last season.
That won’t be the case for the 2019-20 season as a couple big names not only return to Iowa’s schedule, but the duals will take place in Iowa City to boot. All of this information comes from a vvvv by the Hawkeyes official accounts stating which teams would be appearing on the home schedule, but suffice to say fans will not be disappointed.
This year’s Big Ten home schedule includes defending NCAA champions Penn State, Ohio State, and three boarder rivals: Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Cap that off with Iowa’s annual rivalry dual between Big 12 powerhouse Oklahoma State and we are looking at potentially one of the best home schedules a fan could dream up. Given the the name value of these six opponents alone the Hawkeyes will be well positioned to extend their streak to 14 years in leading the country in attendance for duals. Iowa made it 13 straight seasons in 2019, averaging just over 8,500 fans per dual, down almost 400 fans per dual from the year prior.
Dates and other details will not likely be finalized until late summer, but just getting any sort of confirmation on these schools coming to Iowa City is enough to make anyone excited. Iowa typically finalizes and releases their schedule sometime in August, so look for an official announcement from the University at that time.