Which Iowa rivalry isn't worth saving?

Iowa has a handful of fun rivalries, but which one could we live without?
Iowa State v Iowa
Iowa State v Iowa / Matthew Holst/GettyImages

College football has undergone some serious changes in the past three years, and we can expect many more as the sport settles into a new era. Whether that means more conference movement, a new structure for the sport altogether, or a total shift in power among the elite programs remains to be seen.

But those changes have ripple effects. After all, Iowa and Nebraska's rivalry became more cemented when the Cornhuskers joined the Big Ten. With the PAC-12 schools joining the Big Ten, Iowa could take on another rival from the West Coast.

But, we can't see the future, and with all of these changes, who knows what awaits the future of Iowa football and their rivals.

A recent article from Saturday Blitz posed the question of which rivalries in college football are worth leaving in the past. Thankfully, none of Iowa's rivalries were mentioned, but as the landscape of the sport continues to evolve, the decision may be out of the Hawkeyes' hands.

So, which rivalry could Iowa live without if push came to shove?

The Hawkeyes have four primary rivals: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and, of course, Iowa State.

We'll never have to worry about losing the annual Cy-Hawk game. They've never been in the same conference and have still managed to play one another every season since 1977. It's one of the few cross-conference rivalries in college football that has endured long stretches of dominance from one side.

Iowa's rivalry with Minnesota is one of the oldest in the sport as the two schools have faced off 117 times, tied for 17th-most all-time in Division 1. That's a tradition that could never be forsaken, especially as the series record has balanced out in the 21st century with Iowa taking 18 games since 2001.

Similarly, Iowa and Wisconsin's rivalry is over 100 years old with only a few hiatuses since their first meeting in 1894. With Wisconsin holding the series record at 49-46-2, it would be a form of college football blasphemy to ever see this rivalry go away.

That just leaves Nebraska, the youngest rivalry of the four with 54 total meetings. Iowa and Nebraska were an early annual rivalry playing every season except for 13 years (one 10-year gap from 1920-1929) from 1891 to 1946. Then they took a long break from one another with only a handful of meetings until 2011.

Since then, the rivalry has been played every season with Iowa dominating the series 9-4.

Truth be told, Nebraska has been bullied since joining the Big Ten outside of their few seasons., having just one winning season since 2014. With the Big Ten growing to 18 teams, Nebraska may see a more inviting atmosphere back in the Big 12 where they could realistically become one of the better programs in the conference without Texas and Oklahoma in their way.

There have been rumors Nebraska's time in the conference could come to an end sooner rather than later, too.

If Nebraska does, for whatever reason, leave the conference, it's hard to see Iowa preserve the rivalry. While it's a fun rivalry that makes plenty of sense geographically and culturally, Iowa having two out-of-conference rivals wouldn't make a ton of sense.

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