Saturday marks the 67th meeting between the Iowa football team and the Iowa State Cyclones. Here’s the history of this bitter in-state rivalry.
Given how much animosity exists between the Iowa football fan base and the Iowa State football fan base, it’s hard to believe that this series represents just the 8th longest series in Hawkeye’s history. They’ve played Minnesota, Wisconsin, Purdue, Northwestern, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio State more, but the hate that exists for Iowa State runs deep.
The rivalry divides a relatively docile and calm state for an entire week every single football season, regardless of how either team is doing.
This week is a bit different though.
For the first time, both teams are considered top-25 caliber teams (although Iowa State may need a bit of work to get back in to the actual top-25), and for the first time in Iowa State history and in the history of the CyHawk rivalry game, this game will be hosting ESPN’s College GameDay. Had Iowa State not dropped out of the rankings due to a bad performance against FCS Northern Iowa, this would have also marked the first time in 67 contests that both teams were ranked.
Oh well, maybe next year we can continue adding to the history of this game.
But for now, let’s focus on what we’ve already seen.
These two teams have been facing each other since 1894, but the series stopped for over 40 years because the Iowa football program didn’t want to schedule Iowa State (or so the story goes). Since resuming in 1977, these two teams have met every single year, and for the most part, the Iowa football program has been the big brother to Iowa State’s quite obnoxious and annoying little brother.
The Iowa football program has a wide margin in this series winning 44 times to Iowa State’s 22 times, but since Kirk Ferentz has taken over, the series has been quite even. On the heels of a 4-game winning streak, the Hawks are 11-9 versus Iowa State since Kirk Ferentz took over, and we’ve seen some great battles in that time.
Like the 44-41 OT win at Jack Trice Stadium in 2017.
Or the 44-41 OT loss in 2011.
Or even the 2002 matchup where both teams had a great deal of talent. Iowa State’s Seneca Wallace put the team on his back to carry the Cyclones to victory.
While 2 of those 3 “good” games did not fall in Iowa’s favor, we’ve had our share of fun like the defensive slugfest that was last year where Iowa shut down NFL running back David Montgomery or the big-time blowouts in 2009, 2010, and 2016.
This year there is a good chance we see something along the lines of the 2011 or 2017 game than we do the 2009 and 2010 games as both teams are strong.
If the Iowa football team can seal the deal though, they will extend their winning streak over the Cyclones to five games and move to 3-0 on the season.