Iowa football: Making sense of lopsided history vs Michigan

IOWA CITY, IOWA- NOVEMBER 12: Running back Akrum Wadley
IOWA CITY, IOWA- NOVEMBER 12: Running back Akrum Wadley /

Behind Ohio State, Michigan has the best winning percentage of all Big Ten teams against the Iowa football team, but it’s a bit complicated. Here’s why.

In sixty games against the Michigan Wolverines, the Iowa football squad has emerged victorious just 15 times.

If this were Nebraska, anytime you bring up the upset victory over #3 Michigan in 2016, they would simply point to this landslide historical victory.

But as one of our contributors pointed out, not so fast on that.

Prior to 2000, the Iowa football team had won just eight games against Michigan. The Wolverines were an absolute powerhouse, and they inflicted their will on the Hawks. Fair point.

But since Kirk Ferentz has taken over the program, the Iowa football team is 7-6 against Michigan with four of those losses coming in the Lloyd Carr era.

Moreover, since Jim Harbaugh has joined the Big Ten and “revived” Michigan, the Hawks haven’t lost to them. Granted, it’s only been one game, but the point still stands nonetheless.

And while the Wolverines are certainly dominant in The Big House, the grand stage hasn’t been too big for the Hawks as they’ve gone 2-3 on the road there.

Historically speaking, the Michigan dominates the Iowa football program in pretty much every category (wins, conference championships, national championships, draft picks, etc), but fortunately for us, history doesn’t mean crap during this game unless you’re talking about the recent history of the Jim Harbaugh era and more recently, the struggles of the Wolverines this season.

Under Harbaugh, this team truly hasn’t shown grit in tough situations with their backs against the wall and against a team like the Iowa football team, that can make the game difficult. The Hawks aren’t afraid of anyone and they are always down for a battle, willing to trade blows with absolutely anyone. This can scare a few teams and the last time these two teams played, it worked out well for Iowa.

Moreover, this season, Michigan has had its share of struggles. They barely beat Army, didn’t convincingly beat Middle Tennessee State as Iowa did, and they got smoked on the road against Wisconsin.

Depth chart reactions vs Michigan. dark. Next

Hopefully, this is just another sign that this Michigan team is the same old Michigan team we’ve seen the past few years under Jim Harbaugh and the Iowa football team can continue chipping away at their large wins gap that they built up over a century of defeats.