Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Iowa and Ohio State Will Go Prime-Time Next Sept. 30. Their Nationally-Televised Big Ten Game Will Start At 7 P.M. In Kinnick Stadium At Iowa City

Iowa’s highly-anticipated football game with Ohio State on Sept. 30 has been selected for prime-time television.

The game will have a 7 p.m. kickoff [Iowa time] in Kinnick Stadium [right] at Iowa City, and it'll be televised by either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

The Big Ten’s prime-time schedule begins a week earlier with Notre Dame at Michigan State.

Most, if not all, of Iowa’s games are expected to be televised this season. The Hawkeyes have had their last 52 games televised. Every game the last four seasons has been on TV.

Iowa's last home night game was Sept. 20, 2003 against Arizona State.

“We feel honored to have been included in the Big Ten’s prime-time schedule,” said Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz [left]. “It’s an important game, like they all are, and much of the nation will be watching us. We look forward to the challenge.”

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Athlon Sports magazine has picked Iowa’s football team 16th in its 2006 preseason poll. The Hawkeyes will open their season Sept. 2 against Montana in Kinnick Stadium.

Athlon also predicts postseason honors for a number of Hawkeye players.

Defensive end Kenny Iwebema is named to Athlon’s preseason third all-America and first all-Big Ten team. Defensive back Marcus Paschal and kicker Kyle Schlicher were also predicted to be first team all-Big Ten.

Running back Albert Young, offensive linemen Mike Jones, Mike Elgin and Dace Richardson and defensive lineman Mitch King were picked on the second all-Big Ten team.

Named to Athlon’s third preseason all-league team were quarterback Drew Tate, tight end Scott Chandler, defensive lineman Matt Kroul and linebacker Edmond Miles.

Additionally, Iowa’s offensive and defensive lines were rated best in the Big Ten.

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Kirk Ferentz continues to be one of darlings of college football -- especially college football TV. The networks -- from the play-by-play announcers to the sideline reporters -- love the guy. They all think Ferentz is one short step away from jumping to the NFL, which they believe is the place he really wants to be. And the networks have always had a soft spot in their hearts for the state of Iowa, which they like to characterize as "A Genuine Story Out of Middle America where the farmers are struggling, it either floods or freezes all the time and is a place that gets screwed regularly by Washington. The networks also like Drew Tate because they remember the last-second winning touchdown pass he threw in the Capital One Bowl two seasons ago. And, oh, yes, the networks also love Ohio State -- crooked program that it is -- because there are a lot of TV sets in places like Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus. Some of the network bigwigs, I think, are still of the opinion that Woody Hayes coaches the Buckeyes].

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• Sept. 2, 7 p.m.: Notre Dame at Georgia Tech
• Sept. 9, 7 p.m.: Ohio State at Texas
• Sept. 16, 7 p.m.: Nebraska at USC
• Sept. 23, 7 p.m.: Notre Dame at Michigan State; USC at Arizona
• Sept. 30, 7 p.m.: Ohio State at Iowa or Michigan at Minnesota*
• Oct. 7, 7 p.m.: Oregon at California; ACC, Big 12 or BIG EAST (12-day selection)
• Oct. 14, 7 p.m.: Michigan at Penn State; Arizona State at USC
• Nov. 4, 7 p.m.: UCLA at California; ACC, Big 12 or BIG EAST (12-day selection)
• Nov. 11, 7 p.m.: ACC, Big 12 or BIG EAST (12-day selection)
• Nov. 18, 7 p.m.: California at USC; ACC, Big 12 or BIG EAST (12-day selection)
• Nov. 25, 7 p.m.: Notre Dame at USC
• Dec. 2, 7 p.m.: Big 12 championship game

One game will be on ABC and the other in primetime on ESPN or ESPN2.

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ABC Saturday night college football in the upcoming season will feature showdowns between top football programs at 7 p.m. Iowa time.

Notre Dame kicks off the 12-week season Sept. 2 at Georgia Tech followed by Ohio State at defending national champion Texas the next week.

Commentator Brent Musburger will be the play-by-play voice with Bob Davie as the analyst. They will be joined by ESPN College GameDay and ESPN College Football Thursday prime-time analyst Kirk Herbstreit on certain weeks. Lisa Salters, an NBA sideline reporter and general assignment correspondent for multiple ESPN news outlets, will report from the sidelines.

"This prime-time series will be terrific for fans as more top-quality sports product comes to the ABC television network," said George Bodenheimer, president, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports. "These games join a strong lineup of sports on ABC, including the NBA Finals, NASCAR's playoffs -- Chase for the Nextel Cup -- in 2007, Belmont Stakes and Indianapolis 500."