Northwestern vs. Nebraska, 11/4/17

NU President Hank Bounds (left), athletic director Bill Moos and Medical Center Chancellor Jeffery Gold, M.D., talk at Memorial Stadium earlier this month.

FRANCIS GARDLER, Journal Star

Mike Riley, on Monday, made it clear he would like to see the Nebraska-Iowa rivalry pick up some steam.

Hours later, Nebraska's new athletic director took it a step further.

On Husker Sports Nightly, Bill Moos said he has reached out to the Big Ten about making Iowa a permanent Black Friday opponent.

For the foreseeable future, that will not be the case. The Big Ten schedule makers have the Black Friday clash between the Huskers and Hawkeyes after the 2019 season. Nebraska will then conclude the regular season against Minnesota for a two-year cycle, and then likely Wisconsin.

But Moos wants Black Friday to be reserved for the Hawkeyes.

"I'm going to really push to establish Iowa as being our rival," Moos said on the radio show. "We came into the Big Ten and we need a rivalry game, and I've already been to the Big Ten and talked to them about that so hopefully we can keep that Black Friday game and have that be Iowa each year."

Nebraska has played Iowa the day after Thanksgiving since joining the Big Ten in 2011. The Huskers and Hawkeyes have split the series 3-3, with each team winning two on the opposing field. Iowa thumped Nebraska 40-10 a year ago in Iowa City.

Riley, at his Monday news conference, said he talked to his team Sunday about the satisfaction that would come with beating Iowa.

"I mean it feels right," Riley said of enhancing the rivalry. "Whatever amount of time we have been in the Big Ten, with the proximity there just seems like a lot of common ground there and it is right over there that it feels like it should be embraced in that way. I think in due time the whole division will feel like that but I think there is a special quality with Iowa that should only grow.”

Whether or not Riley will be Nebraska's coach as a rivalry with Iowa progresses remains to be seen. The third-year coach is in the midst of one of the worst Husker seasons ever.

Moos touched on the football program during Monday's radio interview.

"We're all disappointed our record is what it is and I've had a chance to talk to Coach Riley on a number of occasions," Moos said. "It's a disappointing season but it's always good to finish on a high note, and we can still do that here at home." 

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