One of the most reliable traditions in the Midwest has been the combination of turkey leftovers and Nebraska football on Black Friday. The Cornhuskers have, after all, been ending their season the day after Thanksgiving as part of a tradition that dates back to 1990.
When the Big Ten released conference schedules for the 2020 and 2021 seasons earlier this week though, that was not the case for Nebraska and the team isn’t even ending the year with their traditional game against Iowa either (they’ll take on Minnesota starting in 2020). As one could expect, many fans were up in arms about the potential change and that prompted athletic director Shawn Eichorst to release a statement on Thursday afternoon.
“I want to clarify Nebraska’s position regarding the dates of our season-ending football games in 2020 and 2021 as announced earlier this week by the Big Ten Conference. At this time no final decision has been made on what dates these two games will actually be played,” said Eichorst. “As in past years, the Big Ten releases opponent matchups and typically assigns these match-ups to Saturday. That has been the case in the past when we agreed to move our season ending games against Iowa from Saturday to Friday.
“Moving forward we will do everything possible to maintain our tradition of playing games on the Friday after Thanksgiving. We look forward to playing Iowa on the Friday after Thanksgiving through 2019.”
So it seems like there’s still a little back-and-forth to come between the school and the Big Ten (and their TV partners, most importantly) as to those final dates three years from now. An official at the league office told the Omaha World-Herald that “four Big Ten West teams will rotate as one another’s final opponents every two years to create variety among divisional rivals” so the budding Iowa rivalry on Black Friday does appear to be concluding — at least temporarily — either way.