Nebraska Cornhuskers-Iowa Hawkeyes Rivalry: Tom Osborne is Excited


On the last Friday of November in Lincoln, Neb., the college football teams from the University of Iowa and the University of Nebraska will square off in the first of what is expected to be a long and competitive and entertaining rivalry between one of the Big Ten Conference’s original member institutions and the league’s most recent addition.
It could be the beginning of a huge rivalry between the Cornhuskers and the Hawkeyes.

“It is the last regular season game, so it may have implications on the Big Ten title game which will be a week later. I have not spoken to the players on how much it will mean but it will be like every game,” said Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne.

This rivalry will also be a trophy game , and one of those special games with a title: “The Heroes Game.” The schools plan to honor one citizen of Iowa and one citizen of Nebraska prior to each Heroes Game for their extraordinary act.  They will be honored on-field during game day and have their name and hometown etched on the to-be-created Heroes Game trophy.

The Heroes game might be the de facto Legends division title game.

“It could be a game that could have those implications since we are in the same division. The timing of the game could add to its importance,” said Osborne.

Osborne is obviously a huge hero himself, as he won three national titles with the Huskers, got elected into the college football hall of fame, and served in the U.S. Congress. He answered a question about how to keep the rivalry with Iowa healthy, and not having become ugly, like it it sometimes got with Colorado:

“A lot of it comes from leadership, the coaches and athletic directors,” he said.

“Frankly, it was not my favorite part of the rivalry when people started telling Nebraska jokes on television. Some of the jokes came from Nebraska people who work with the program. We have respect for Colorado we enjoyed playing them but it got to a point where our fans would not go out to the games based on how they were treated. I just hope that does not happen with Iowa. You don’t have to have that. You can be very competitive without having the unattractive parts.”

The first “Heroes Game” is still months away.  It will be played the day after Thanksgiving – Friday, Nov. 25.  UI and NU officials are counting on that interest to drive another piece of “The Heroes Game” puzzle:  The opportunity to use the “Heroes Game” to raise funds for a non-profit organization in each state.  The beneficiary of the efforts initiated in support of the first two “Heroes Games” will be the Iowa and Nebraska chapters of the American Red Cross.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Yardbarker, Fox Sports , and Fox Sports 

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