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IOWA Magazine | 08-27-2021

Iowa Icons: Four Iowa Football Gridiron Rivalries

In our Iowa Icons series, we’re celebrating the players, moments, and traditions that define Hawkeye football. Here, we see how Iowa has fared against its greatest Midwestern rivals.

Floyd of Rosedale:

Attempting to cool tensions between the two bordering universities, Minnesota Governor Floyd B. Olson and Iowa Governor Clyde Herring made a friendly wager in 1935 that led to the creation of Iowa’s oldest rivalry trophy. When Iowa lost the game that year, Herring presented Olson with the real-life Floyd, a champion pig, and the Minnesota governor commissioned a St. Paul sculptor to immortalize the prized animal in bronze. The result is the 21-inch by 15-inch statue that has been on the move between Iowa City and Minneapolis ever since. Minnesota leads the series with a 62-50-2 record, but Iowa has won six straight games in the rivalry.

Floyd of  Rosedale help up by players PHOTO: BRIAN RAY/HAWKEYESPORTS.COM The Iowa Hawkeyes celebrate with the Floyd of Rosedale Trophy following their 23-19 victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers Nov. 16, 2019, at Kinnick Stadium.

Cy-Hawk Trophy:

When the Iowa-Iowa State rivalry resumed in 1977 following a 43-year hiatus, the Des Moines Athletic Club donated a trophy to be awarded to the winner by Iowa Gov. Robert Ray (12LLD). The original trophy featured a bronze player in a classic running back pose alongside a bronze football. In 2011, the original trophy was retired, and the Iowa Corn Growers Association partnered with the universities to create a new trophy featuring Herky and Cy that has been used since. The rivalry game was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic but is set to resume Sept. 11 in Ames. Iowa leads the series 45-22.

Cy-Hawk trophy held up by players PHOTO: BRIAN RAY/HAWKEYESPORTS.COM Offensive lineman Keegan Render, defensive back Jake Gervase, and offensive lineman Ross Reynolds celebrate with the Cy-Hawk trophy following their game against Iowa State Sept. 8, 2018, at Kinnick Stadium.

Heartland Trophy:

The Iowa-Wisconsin football rivalry dates back to 1894, but it wasn’t until 2004 that the traveling trophy was introduced. The bronzed bull, which sits atop a walnut base, was designed by Iowa City native and former Hawkeye football player Frank Strub (57BA). Iowa currently has possession of the trophy after a victory in 2020, but Wisconsin leads the series with a 48-44-2 record.

Heartland trophy held up by players PHOTO: BRIAN RAY/HAWKEYESPORTS.COM Fullback Macon Plewa holds the Heartland Trophy as the Hawkeyes sing the Iowa Fight Song following their victory over the Badgers Oct. 3, 2015, at Wisconsin.

Heroes Trophy:

When Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011, Iowa added its newest trophy game for a border battle that has become a Black Friday tradition. The annual Heroes Game pits the Hawkeyes against the Cornhuskers for a trophy featuring an aluminum football and a wood base ringed with cornstalks. Etched on the trophy each year are the names of two citizen heroes, along with the scores of the games. Nebraska leads the series 29-19, but Iowa will take a streak of six straight wins over the Huskers into this year’s Black Friday game.

Heroes trophy held up by players PHOTO: MAX ALLEN/HAWKEYESPORTS.COM Hawkeyes carry the Heroes Game Trophy after a victory over Nebraska Nov. 23, 2018, at Kinnick Stadium.

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