Iowa vs. Iowa State. Hawkeyes vs. Cyclones. The “Super Bowl” of Iowa. For those of you within the state of Iowa, I don’t have to explain how important this game is. It means bragging rights for your team for an entire year. It means you no longer have to listen to that annoying co-worker from the other team who knows astonishingly little about football, yet insists on smack-talking you even during your lunch hour. It means you can fly your colors proudly in broad daylight with no shame. It’s for the Cy-Hawk Trophy. It’s THE BIG GAME.
Due to how early in the season this game is played, the game is typically between undefeated squads looking to continue their early season momentum. This year, that’s not the case. And that’s why we have highlighted the state’s two flagship football programs in this week’s edition of #FailFriday.
Iowa and Iowa State fanbases both knew that this year could be a rebuilding year. Coaches from both sides used words like “patience”, “learning curve”, and “youth” throughout the offseason. However, most fans on both sides had quiet optimism heading into Week 1. Then, Iowa proceeded to lose a close game to MAC opponent Northern Illinois at home. A few hours later, Iowa State came out flat and dropped their home opener to FCS-level Northern Iowa. Both teams sat at 0-1, and fans around the state began drinking heavily (but for good reasons in Cedar Falls).
Now, Iowa did pick up a win against FCS-level Missouri State last weekend, but it wasn’t the easy blowout win that many Hawkeye fans were looking for. So Iowa travels to Ames with a 1-1 record, and ISU is still at 0-1 after having two weeks to think about what went wrong against UNI.
As a #FailFriday tradition, we will ask our loyal followers: what do you think went wrong for these two teams? Are they too young? Are they less talented than in years past? Are defensive or offensive struggles to blame? Let us know your opinion in the comments below!
As for a prediction in this state-wide rivalry, we just aren’t sure what to think right now. On paper, it looks like the Hawkeyes should come away with the win. (The line in Vegas favors Iowa by 2.5 points). Iowa’s offensive line is huge and their running game has been very solid, even if they have struggled in the redzone so far. Meanwhile, ISU struggled to slow down UNI’s rushing attack and could be in for more pain against Iowa. The game is in Ames, which always helps the Cyclones, so that could affect the outcome. Regardless of the turnout, fans on both sides might be in for a long season.
For now, we will predict a close Hawkeye victory: 20-17, Hawkeyes.
How do you see the game playing out on Saturday? Let us know!