Since joining the Big Ten in 2011, Nebraska fans have denied the Iowa football team as a rival. It turns out that the Nebraska fans are right.
Iowa football fans, before you destroy me in the comments of this article, understand that while Nebraska is not a rival, it is not for the reasons that Cornhusker fans cite.
For example, Nebraska fans frequently talk about how rivalries are typically more competitive. The Husker fan will tell you that because they are 29-17-3 against Iowa, there is no rivalry.
Rivalries like the Holy War (59-31-4 in favor of Utah over BYU) or Bedlam (88-18-7 in favor of Oklahoma over Oklahoma State) are both more lopsided than Iowa and Nebraska’s non-rivalry.
Additionally, the record between Iowa and Nebraska is heavily skewed. Of the 29 wins Nebraska has accumulated against Iowa, 20 of them have come before the end of World War II.
As Iowa football fans, we sometimes make the assumption that Nebraska is stuck in the 1990s. With this argument, Huskers are actually stuck in the 1940s.
Why then is Nebraska not a rival of Iowa. The hate is certainly there.
I hate the common cold, but I would not consider it a rival. Like Nebraska, it is more of an annoyance than anything else.
No Iowa football fans, Nebraska is not a rival because of their play on the field. When is the last time Iowa lost a game by 45 points at home?
When has an Iowa football team lost by 45 points at all? Iowa has absolutely been on the wrong side of a blowout, but never by six touchdowns.
The funny part of this is that this isn’t the first recent time that Nebraska has lost badly on a national stage.
In 2012, the year that Nebraska won the Legends Division, Nebraska dropped two games embarrassingly. First, they lost to Ohio State in Columbus by 25. Then, they lost on the national stage, the Big Ten Championship Game, by 39 points.
Nebraska’s latest blunder should make all Iowa fans truly evaluate where Nebraska is as a program.
Iowa already has a rival with multiple national championships before anyone currently alive was born. Iowa has a geographically-driven rival that struggles to consistently win.
The Hawkeyes have won an average of nine games a season in the last five. Iowa fans, we need to evaluate where Nebraska is as a program.
If Iowa is to elevate its status within college football, it needs to perform against championship-caliber teams. While Ohio State may meet this criterion, Nebraska most certainly does not.