A Brief Rundown of the Iowa-Iowa State Rivalry

When it comes to sporting civil wars, college rivalries are about as bitter as it gets. This is especially true in Iowa, where the rivalry between the football teams of the main colleges is so historic and so legendary that it has its own Wikipedia page and has even been the subject of several costly legal battles.

The rivalry in question concerns the football team of the University of Iowa, Iowa Hawkeyes, versus the team belonging to Iowa State University – the Iowa State Cyclones. This is a college football beef that has bitterly divided fans across the state for almost a century, with no end in sight to this enduring and often highly entertaining rivalry.

If you’re new to all of this and are looking for a run-down on the most important sports rivalry in the great state of Iowa, read on to find out everything you need to know.

The players

First, let’s break down everything you need to know about the two protagonists of this never-ending drama – the Hawkeyes and the Cyclones. Both terms describe the general sports departments of each respective university, with the Hawkeyes belonging to the University of Iowa and the Cyclones belonging to Iowa State.

The main rivalry centers around the football teams specifically, culminating in the annual Cy-Hawk Trophy game, in which the two officially go to head-to-head in what might be the biggest sporting event of the year for all Iowans.

The trophy is so-named because of the names of the mascots for each team – the Hawkeyes’ ‘Herky the Hawk’ and the Cyclones’ ‘Cy the Cardinal’. The match was first contested 127 years ago, making it one of the oldest college football rivalries in America, and the Cy-Hawk trophy was established after the long hiatus in 1977.

Based purely on this specific tournament, the Hawkeyes are considerably ahead with 45 victories to Iowa State’s 22, as per ncaa.com. Fans can also take a closer look at the stats and odds for each team at any major sportsbook, which will cover their upcoming games this season. However, the online betting industry can be tough to navigate due to the sheer amount of options, so there are sites such as winners.net that rank them based on various factors and allow you to find the best fit. The range of markets is certainly a key factor, but college football betting options are available at all major bookmakers, so there are plenty of options to choose from for matches including this historic rivalry.

The beef

Of course, this being college football, the beef goes far beyond mere touchdowns. This is perhaps best evidenced by the fact that the two did not play against each other at all from the years 1935 to 1977, owing partly to the very real animosity between the fans and the potential for disruption this tended to cause.

It actually took an act from the Iowa State Legislature to resume the Cy-Hawk trophy after more than three decades, with immense public pressure leading to politicians swallowing their fear of the fans and resuming the annual event. Since then, every single year has run pretty much the same way.

Although it is always entertainment, people have been quick to point out how frustrating the Cy-Hawk game is as reported by bannersociety.com, with both teams barely scoring any points during their head-to-head. This may just be a testament to how evenly matched the two teams are.

If you’re an Iowan, there is no sitting on the fence here. You will one day have to decide whether you are a Cyclone or a Hawkeye. Fortunately, no matter which one you pick, you’ll have your share of victories.