Tag Archives: Hawkeyes

Five things you may not know about the ISU-Iowa rivalry

As this year’s Cy-Hawk series continues in a string of December games, here are five things you may not have known about the long rivalry between Iowa State and the University of Iowa. It has been about a lot more than sports over the years:

  1. Iowa’s original “State University” was in Iowa City, and remains there today; State University of Iowa informally shortened its name to resolve confusion after Iowa State College became a university.
  2. Iowa president Virgil Hancher not only objected to a university in Ames, he argued vocally against Iowa State introducing a major in English.
  3. During the same period, James Hilton’s Iowa State lobbied the NCAA to shut down local telecasts of Hawkeye football games when they took place at the same time as the Cyclones’ games.
  4. Half a century before the recent controversy over performance-based funding, a split over funding formulas nearly paralyzed the entire Board of Regents system for three years.
  5. The University of Iowa once ran its own extension service, and both it and Iowa State fought to resist proposals that one school take over the other’s program.

Hancher vs. Hilton: Iowa’s Rival University Presidents has plenty more where this came from. Check out an excerpt!

Dear Cyclone football: never back down

I was sightseeing in Chicago over the weekend, so I missed the Big Game. My brother called immediately afterward and provided a recap, though, and what a sweet sequence of events. ISU prevailed, plus, ISU prevailed as a direct result of Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz outsmarting himself. Whooops. Thanks, U of I campus police, for this apt summary:

Coach Rhoads roars with laughter as Ferentz looks on… yep, that about sums it up

Bwa ha ha

Reading afterward, though, I noticed that the Des Moines Register was making noises about ending this series. It seems to be a bit more than just a daft Randy Peterson idea, also. Not only were fan reactions mixed, but the relevant officials seemed less than committed to sustaining this rivalry.

I could spend time deconstructing this, but I just want to make one point, for whatever my opinion is worth: if and when this series is interrupted (again), it should not happen with any formal approval from ISU. Ignore Peterson’s arguments that halting The Big Game would be to Cyclones’ advantage. Don’t give the Hawks cover, guys. If they want to cop out, fine. If they want to offer up excuses, claim that it has never been important to them, revive the arrogant and now ludicrous muttering about “quality” opponents, fine. That’s their business.

But please, Cyclone football, make it clear that ISU stands ready to challenge the Hawks any time, anywhere (in a manner of speaking, at least, since college football games follow a fixed schedule negotiated well in advance). Do that, and honor will be ours no matter what, no matter the result of any “last game” before Iowa slinks off to seek wins elsewhere.

We will never surrender.