When the season kicks off three months from today, there will be no shortage of time to tailgate for fans attending early-season football games involving Iowa, Iowa State and Illinois.
The Big Ten and Big 12 announced starting times for a number of games during the 2018 season on Thursday, including kickoff times for five of Iowa’s seven home games and two Hawkeye road games as well as three Iowa State games and six Illinois games.
Iowa’s games at Kinnick Stadium against in-state rivals Iowa State and Northern Iowa, as well as the season opener against Northern Illinois, will provide plenty of time for fans to enjoy the game-day experience.
The Hawkeyes will open the season on Sept. 1 with a 2:30 p.m. game against Northern Illinois, preceding a 4 p.m. home game on Sept. 8 against Iowa State and a first-ever night game against Northern Iowa on Sept. 15, a game that is set for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff.
FOX will televise the Iowa-Iowa State game to a national audience as part of a tripleheader of games that day, while the Big Ten Network will air the Northern Illinois and UNI games.
The Big Ten also announced the starting time for four of Iowa’s Big Ten games, including 11 a.m. kickoffs for the Oct. 20 homecoming game against Maryland and the Nov. 23 Black Friday match-up against Nebraska. The latter will be televised by FOX.
Iowa’s road game at Minnesota on Oct. 6 has been set for a 2:30 or 3 p.m. kickoff, and the Hawkeyes’ Oct. 13 game at Indiana will kick at 11 a.m.
Starting times for the Hawkeyes’ remaining games, including home games against Wisconsin on Sept. 22 and Northwestern on Nov. 10, are not yet set but will be announced no later than 12 days prior to the game.
In addition to its game at Iowa, the starting times for Iowa State’s first two home games were announced Thursday.
The Cyclones will open the season on Sept. 1 with a 7 p.m. home game against South Dakota State and will open Big 12 play on Sept. 15 with an 11 a.m. kickoff against Oklahoma.
The game against the Sooners will be televised by ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.
Illinois’ nonconference schedule includes a 6:30 p.m. game against Western Illinois on Sept. 8, a week after the Fighting Illini open the season with an 11 a.m. home game against Kent State.
The starting time for Sept. 15 game against South Florida at Soldier Field in Chicago has been set for 2:30 p.m., and like the Western Illinois and Kent State games it will be televised by the Big Ten Network.
Starting times for three of Illinois’ Big Ten games have been set. The Fighting Illini will host Penn State on Friday, Sept. 21, at 8 p.m. in a game to be televised by FS1, host Purdue at 2:30 or 3 p.m. on Oct. 13 and play at Wisconsin at 11 a.m. on Oct. 20.