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Obligatory "Is Iowa a Rival" Thread


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Rivalry Week?  

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11 hours ago, knapplc said:

I don't understand Nebraska's obsession with having a "rival."

 

We don't need a rival. Every team does not have a rival. Rivalries are something that develop over time, organically. That is not what's happening here. And it sucks.

 

The main reason this Iowa "rivalry" talk happens every year is because the major news outlets that cover Nebraska football have a huge footprint in Iowa. A huge, HUGE chunk of their audience roots for Iowa, and they have to sell stories to that audience. So they stoke this fire that burns not-so-brightly for most Husker fans to further their own ends. And most fans aren't discerning enough to grasp that, so they just blithely follow along.  

 

 

To understand why Iowa may or may not be a rival, we need to understand who and what we think Nebraska is.

 

Nebraska is a team that has won five national championships in the modern era.  We have two legendary coaches, hall-of-famers, who have won multiple national championships each, both in the last 50 years. We have three Heisman Trophy winners in that span. I don't even know how many conference championships. Or divisional championships. A lot, each. Nebraska is one of the top five winningest programs in college football. Ever. We are a Baron of the sport. A pillar.

 

None of the above is an exaggeration. None is hyperbole.

 

So let's understand who and what Iowa is.  Until 2011, we didn't play them regularly. In the modern era (1965-present) Iowa has been a perennial mid-tier team in the Big Ten. They have no national championships to their name. They have no Heisman Trophy winners. They have no coaches that Nebraska would rather have. They are not in a more enviable position than Nebraska, unless you count the worst period of contemporary Nebraska football, in which Iowa has a better record.

 

But there's a problem with that metric. Because that is not how Nebraska Fan measures themselves or their team. If you want to claim Iowa as a true rival, you have to accept that what Iowa is or has is what Nebraska wants, or wants to be.

 

And that is decidedly not the case. And it has not been the case since Nebraska joined the Big Ten, or even before that.

 

And anyone making the claim that Nebraska aspires to be what Iowa is fundamentally is lying to themselves. Because we endeavor to be regularly relevant on the national stage, frequently compete for the conference title, and occasionally compete for a national championship.

 

If you claim that's not what Nebraska Football is, or wants to be, you're lying to yourself. 

 

And when you acquiesce to that concept, you cannot claim that Iowa is our rival. Because they are not that, they are not Nebraska's barrier to that, and they never have been that. Ever.

 

Iowa is no more Nebraska's rival than Minnesota. Or Northwestern. Or Wisconsin.

 

Iowa may be *a* rival. And that's fine. They're in our division, we play every year, we want to beat them.

 

But they are not *our* rival. They are not the hurdle we must overcome to achieve our goals. They're just another hurdle.

 

Finally - and sadly, for those who think Iowa is our rival - Iowa does not consider us to be their rival. They never have. They dislike us, they want to beat us, and they have disdain for us. But that is not a special or unique thing for Iowa Fan. They feel the same way about Wisconsin and Minnesota, and far moreso toward them than toward us.

 

This rivalry talk is dumb and cheap. It is not reciprocated, and it is forced and inorganic.

 

It is no different than when Dan McCarney decided on a whim that Nebraska was Colorado's rival in the 1980s.

 

Nebraska Fan disdained that designation. It was laughable.

 

And now we want to be Colorado, and make that same claim?

 

Ugh. No.

 

For god's sake, let's have more dignity than that.

 

Bill McCartney for the bold.

 

I basically agree with everything you said, although I do feel CU did, over time, grow into the definition of a rival. Yes it was laughable and embarrassing at the beginning but once they beat us a few times, cost us some conference championships and put one hell of a beat down on us, it was all a little more natural.  The real reason we don’t yet have a B1G rival is mostly due to Nebraska not being good enough to compete for any titles or to be the thorn in another’s side. Wisconsin and Iowa are good candidates for something to develope but not until we hold up our end of the deal.

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15 minutes ago, JJ Husker said:

 

Bill McCartney for the bold.

 

I basically agree with everything you said, although I do feel CU did, over time, grow into the definition of a rival. Yes it was laughable and embarrassing at the beginning but once they beat us a few times, cost us some conference championships and put one hell of a beat down on us, it was all a little more natural.  The real reason we don’t yet have a B1G rival is mostly due to Nebraska not being good enough to compete for any titles or to be the thorn in another’s side. Wisconsin and Iowa are good candidates for something to develope but not until we hold up our end of the deal.

Yeah, exactly. Iowa may be our rival later, but not now. Now we just hate each other, but we don't have enough history.

 

I think they have potential to be a special game as we go on in this conference, but the more we force it the more artificial it seems.

 

The worst thing they could have done is make up that dumb trophy. That set back the organic nature of the rivalry-building process by a decade.

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2 hours ago, BigRedN said:

I hear so many Huskerboard members over the years say "Iowa Sucks", only to lose again to them.  

 

Yesterday Iowa beat Illinois 63-0 ... so, I will be curious how much they say we beat them by at their stadium.

 

 

a) Iowa does suck. We’ve just sucked worse lately.

 

b) I don’t give a s#!t if Iowa beat Illinois 999-0. The transitive property doesn’t apply. Minnesota beat Purdue 41-10. Purdue beat us. We beat Minnesota. People predicting we beat them shouldn’t be “curious” at all. 

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If we go by the idea of being a thorn in someones side, we are a rival for MSU. We seem to beat them even when we are down. I personally like the NW games. They are almost always close no matter which team is playing well. 

Iowa could be a good rival, once NU starts beating them again. If for no other reason than the two teams hate each other.

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3 hours ago, knapplc said:

Yeah, exactly. Iowa may be our rival later, but not now. Now we just hate each other, but we don't have enough history.

 

I think they have potential to be a special game as we go on in this conference, but the more we force it the more artificial it seems.

 

The worst thing they could have done is make up that dumb trophy. That set back the organic nature of the rivalry-building process by a decade.

 

I agree. I hate that the conference tries to determine and force these things. It's one reason I prefer the bits of broken chair trophy with Minny. No, they're not our rival but as far as trophy games go, I much prefer something like that to the big nondescript hunk of wood heroes freedom type trophy.

 

Oklahome was our rival for so many years because 98% of the time the winner of our game determined conference titles and often had national implications. Hate is not the only factor. Many of us had great respect for OU. On the other hand, many of us hated CU and McCartney for calling us their rival. We beat them soundly 18 to 20+ times in a row and out of nowhere they began circling  their game with us in red. They were desperate and no more than a flea we would swat. Its exactly what they needed but it didn't mean anything to us until they finally got good late 80's early 90's, then we had something. Anyway, point being, there are differing criteria and it can vary with the fan. I picture Iowa as possibly becoming like CU but the only Oklahomaesque possibility I perceive at this time would be Wisconsin. That's primarily because lately they seem to be the team you have to go through to win the west. This year is a bit of an anomaly in that Purdue and NW are up a bit and the whole division has cannibalized each other.

 

Sorry for rambling on...

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7 hours ago, Moiraine said:

 

 

a) Iowa does suck. We’ve just sucked worse lately.

 

b) I don’t give a s#!t if Iowa beat Illinois 999-0. The transitive property doesn’t apply. Minnesota beat Purdue 41-10. Purdue beat us. We beat Minnesota. People predicting we beat them shouldn’t be “curious” at all. 

 

The "curious" is simply by "how much".  It's always the humor to me on this board ... kinda like those who had us hanging lots of points on MSU.  :-)

 

I'll be hoping that we can play some hard-nosed football with few mistakes ... I'll be happy with the result.  It would be nice to see that Iowa, as well, missed their last opportunity to beat us while we were down.  

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On 11/17/2018 at 10:12 PM, knapplc said:

Nebraska is a team that has won five national championships in the modern era.  We have two legendary coaches, hall-of-famers, who have won multiple national championships each, both in the last 50 years. We have three Heisman Trophy winners in that span. I don't even know how many conference championships. Or divisional championships. A lot, each. Nebraska is one of the top five winningest programs in college football. Ever. We are a Baron of the sport. A pillar.

 

None of the above is an exaggeration. None is hyperbole.

 

So let's understand who and what Iowa is.  Until 2011, we didn't play them regularly. In the modern era (1965-present) Iowa has been a perennial mid-tier team in the Big Ten. They have no national championships to their name. They have no Heisman Trophy winners. They have no coaches that Nebraska would rather have. They are not in a more enviable position than Nebraska, unless you count the worst period of contemporary Nebraska football, in which Iowa has a better record.

 

But there's a problem with that metric. Because that is not how Nebraska Fan measures themselves or their team. If you want to claim Iowa as a true rival, you have to accept that what Iowa is or has is what Nebraska wants, or wants to be.

 

 

This part of your post makes zero sense to me.

 

There are rivalries all over sports that don't match this metric and they are believed to be some of the biggest rivalries in sports.


In fact, if this is the requirement, all rivalries would be one sided.

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