Gophers vs. Cornhuskers on Black Friday? It could happen in 2020 and 2021.
Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst said Thursday that he has contacted Gophers AD Mark Coyle about having the 2020 and 2021 football games moved from the Saturday after Thanksgiving to that Friday.
Eichorst, quoted on the school’s athletic website, said Minnesota’s initial response was “positive,’’ but declined to elaborate. “Stay tuned,” he added.
“We will discuss this with Nebraska,’’ Paul Rovnak, Gophers assistant athletic director for communications, said Thursday night.
The Big Ten on Tuesday released schedules for the 2020 and 2021 seasons, and the Gophers are scheduled to visit Nebraska on Nov. 28, 2020, and host the Huskers on Nov. 27, 2021, both Saturdays.
Minnesota and Wisconsin have played the regular-season finale since 2014 and will do so through 2019. But the Big Ten will rotate division opponents in the finales beginning in 2020.
Nebraska and Iowa have played on Black Friday since the Huskers joined the Big Ten in 2011, and the Huskers also have played on that day since 1989. When the schedules were released Tuesday, Eichorst said the move was in line with the school’s preference on not playing on Friday nights.
But Thursday, he reversed course, saying “no final decision has been made“ regarding dates in a statement.
“As in past years, the Big Ten releases opponent matchups and typically assigns these matchups to Saturday,” he said. “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.”