IOWA CITY – Iowa’s 2009 football schedule is set.
Nestled between the Hawkeyes’ Big Ten opener at Penn State on Sept. 26 and their first game against Michigan since 2006 (Sept. 10) is Arkansas State. The Red Wolves, 5-7 in the Sun Belt Conference last season, will travel to Kinnick Stadium on Oct. 3 next season, filling out Iowa’s 12 games for 2009, UI associate athletics director Mark Abbott confirmed Tuesday.
The Hawkeyes’ 2010 schedule is close to completion with the addition of Eastern Illinois, a Division I-AA school, for the Sept. 4 season opener.
Two open dates (Sept. 25 and Oct. 9) remain on Iowa’s 2010 schedule. Abbott, who handles scheduling contracts for the UI, said he has a school to fill the Sept. 25 date but doesn’t have a completed contract. With the 2010 season being the first for Big Ten teams to play the weekend after Thanksgiving, the Oct. 9 date will remain an open bye week.
The Hawkeyes finish 2010 on Nov. 27 at Minnesota.
Eastern Illinois finished 8-4 last season, losing to Southern Illinois in the first round of the I-AA playoffs. The Panthers regularly schedule Division I schools. Last season, they traveled to Purdue and fell, 52-7. They’ll play at Illinois this year and at Penn State in ’09 before their date in Iowa City in ’10.
Arkansas State’s non-conference schedule this fall includes Texas A&M, Southern Mississippi and Alabama.
Michigan and Ohio State will be back on Iowa’s Big Ten schedule in ’09, while Purdue and Illinois drop off.