Popular or not, Friday night football for the Gophers is coming next year.
The Big Ten announced Friday that the Gophers game against Indiana next year at TCF Bank Stadium that originally was scheduled for Oct. 27, 2018, a Saturday, will be moved up one day to Friday, Oct. 26. The game time and TV details will be announced later.
The game will be the Gophers’ first Friday contest since Oct. 10, 2003, when they lost to Michigan 38-35 in the Metrodome in a game moved up a day because of a potential Twins playoff game on that Saturday.
The Friday game also will mark Indiana’s first visit to TCF Bank Stadium, making the Hoosiers the final Big Ten team to play in the venue.
The move has not been popular with high school associations, with prep games traditionally on Friday nights.
“I think it's fair to say there's been pushback,’’ Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said during the conference’s media days in July. “It led us to open up even more communication with the high school directors. … And we actually thought that with, I think, eight of the ten FBS conferences telecasting a little bit on Friday that that would be okay. But we did get pushback.’’
Indiana coach Tom Allen was a vocal opponent of the decision.
“I'm very concerned about it,’’ Allen said at Big Ten media days. “My history as a high school coach for 15 years is strong. It's who I am, it's how I started, and it's been so many years.
“I think that's a special night. I don't like playing games on Friday night. I think that's high school night.’’