Golden Eagles to face FBS opponent for 15th
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Add the Big 10 to the impressive list of conferences on Tennessee Tech’s football schedule. For the 15th consecutive year the Golden Eagles will face an opponent from the Football Bowl Subdivision when coach Watson Brown takes his team to the University of Iowa to open the 2011 schedule.
The game will be played on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011, in Iowa’s 70,585-seat Kinnick Stadium. The current Iowa Hawkeyes are 10-2 and preparing to face Georgia Tech on January 5 in the FedEx Orange Bowl in Miami.
“As with each of the games we’ve played against FBS opponents, we’re excited about the game at Iowa and another opportunity for our young men to play against the highest level of competition they can,” Brown said.
“These games are important financially for our football program and Tennessee Tech Athletics, and they are opportunities that we feel are important for the student-athlete experience of our players. They are learning experiences, and they are memories that will last their lifetimes.”
In Brown’s first three seasons, his teams have played against opponents in the Southeastern (Auburn and Georgia), Mid-America (Western Michigan), Big East (Louisville) and Big 12 (Kansas State) conferences.
Next year, Tech plays at another SEC foe when it visits Arkansas in the season opener. The game in Iowa City will be the first against a Big 10 team since the two divisions were established in 1978.
The game at Iowa will not only mark the 15th consecutive year with at least one FBS opponent, the 2011 contest will be the 22nd year overall that the Golden Eagles have jumped up a level. Tech’s first FBS foe was Kansas State in 1984.
Tech played at both Kansas State and the University of Georgia in 2009. The contest at UGA drew more than 92,000 fans to rank as the second-largest crowd to ever watch an OVC team play. In 2007, the Golden Eagles played before more than 85,000 at Auburn, which was the largest OVC attendance at the time.
“It has become a tradition for Tennessee Tech football to play these games against FBS opponents, and the game at Iowa in 2011 – just like the game at Arkansas next year -- will continue that tradition,” said TTU Director of Athletics Mark Wilson.
“Whether it’s Auburn, Georgia, Arkansas or Iowa, playing this high caliber of opponent provides the team with a tremendous challenge, provides the players with a memorable experience, and it is also an important aspect of our financial picture.”
Tech is a member of the Football Championship Subdivision. The Golden Eagles have already faced teams from the Big East, Mid-America, SEC, Big 12, Sun Belt, Conference USA and Mountain West conferences.
Of the 19 different FBS teams Tech has faced, 11 are playing in Bowl games during the next month – East Carolina, Cincinnati, Ohio, Bowling Green, Air Force, Iowa State, Northern Illinois, Middle Tennessee, South Florida, Auburn and Georgia. Both Arkansas and Iowa are also in upcoming Bowl games.
The starting time for the 2011 game at Iowa has not been announced, pending television schedules and the Big 10 Network.
The Golden Eagles closed the 2009 season with a 6-5 overall record and claimed second place in the Ohio Valley Conference with a 5-3 league record.