Hawkeyes receive another early-bird kickoff at Illinois

Hawk Central staff

It's becoming routine now.

The Iowa football team will play in yet another 11 a.m. game this Saturday against Illinois after the Big Ten Conference used a six-day TV option to determine times and stations for this coming weekend's games.

The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network, despite available slots at 11 a.m. on ABC and ESPN2 as well. A 51-14 loss by Iowa (6-3, 3-2 Big Ten) to Minnesota on the road this past weekend has lessened the league-wide importance of Saturday's game with the Illini (4-5, 1-4).

It's also put increasing pressure on the Hawkeyes, who must win their final three regular-season games to have any hope of reaching the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis next month.

Iowa has played almost its entire season in the 11 a.m. kickoff window. Just two games — back-to-back home contests with Ball State and Iowa State in September — have kicked off in the afternoon.