Iowa lobbies Big Ten to make Wisconsin, Nebraska and Minnesota main rivals

Iowa athletic director Gary Barta says the Hawkeyes have identified Wisconsin, Nebraska and Minnesota as three rivals they'd like to play as much as possible in a realigned Big Ten.

Barta tells The Associated Press that he's told the Big Ten that Iowa wants to play the Badgers, Cornhuskers and Gophers on a regular basis, if not every year.

The Big Ten expanding to 12 teams in 2011 by adding Nebraska and is moving to divisional play and a conference championship game.

Wisconsin and Minnesota have long been border rivals of the Hawkeyes. Though Iowa has only faced the Huskers twice since 1982, Barta says it'll be a terrific rivalry "right out of the gate."

Barta says the Big Ten is down to two or three division models, which will be based on competitive fairness and traditional rivalries.