Iowa vs. Iowa State Football

The physical makeup of the Cy-hawk Trophy has met controversy as of late. For more than thirty years it was an old-school running back flaunting the Heisman pose, frozen in tradition. But in 2010, people wanted to change tradition. It turned into a silver Iowa farm family, kneeling beside a bushel of corn (Stereotypical or Wholesome? You can decide, although most thought it was ghastly). Either way, the farm family was repealed after only one year. That left last years winner with a generic temporary trophy.

But let’s forget about trophies. A small piece of hardware is of miniscule importance when the Hawks and Clones are in between the lines one Saturday a year. This game causes a statewide riff, one that demands allegiance to your team of choice.

Trophies don’t matter. What matters is university/community pride, and damn good football. The real trophies come in the form of bragging rights.

Iowa and Iowa State have met each other nearly sixty times since 1894. The Hawkeyes have a serious edge in the all-time series, having won 39 of those affairs.

Last year was… well, let’s not bring up last year for the sake of the Hawkeyes. Let’s not say that Iowa blew a fourth quarter lead to the Cyclones, and then proceeded to lose in four overtimes. Let’s not talk about last year.

Let’s talk about this year, where two fresh programs with fresh faces have the opportunity to create lasting legacies. Both the Hawkeyes and Cyclones are coming off non-conference victories in their season openers. Iowa squeaked by Northern Illinois at Soldier Field, and Iowa State had a ho-hum victory against Tulsa.

Iowa has finally found a viable option at running back. Sophomore Damon Bullock carried the rock 30 times for 150 yards and the game-winning touchdown. Iowa State cruised on the back of its running back as well, as Shontrelle Johnson rushed for 12 times for 120 yards.

Both defenses are well-coached, and bent, but didn’t break last week. It will be perfectly chaotic, smashmouth football this Saturday.

The stage is set for another year of the Cy-Hawk rivalry to unfold. Thousands will flood into Iowa City to witness the winning of the bragging rights (and a new and improved trophy). The scene of Iowans converging in one small place for very separate causes will probably be awe-inspiring.

The artistic property of the Cy-Hawk trophy doesn’t matter, its the pride and passion of Iowa’s people that does.