Can Nebraska Fans "Hate" Iowa Yet?

"Who hates Iowa?"

If you go to a Minnesota game, you're bound to hear that at some point. Yes, that even includes basketball and other sporting events. You can even hear it when Minnesota isn't playing Iowa.

And here we are. It's time for the last game of the season. Iowa was set up as our season ending "rivalry game". We are going to play for the Heroes Trophy or is it the Corn Bowl? The question needs to be asked. Since they are our end-of-year-rivalry game, should we hate them like Minnesota does?

"We believe that the people of Iowa and the people of Nebraska are very much alike in many ways.  Both believe in an honest day's work, the importance of community and family, and both love college football and their football heroes.  We also know there are citizens of our states doing exceptional things every day and we think they are deserving of some recognition and we look forward to using this game to do that," said Tom Osborne, director of athletics at the University of Nebraska.

"Who hates Iowa?"

Thanks for the uplifting soundbite Tom, but what the hell does it have to do with playing a football game? We still don't now what this Heroes Trophy is going to look like. We know what the Innocent's Society (Nebraska) and the President's Leadership Society (Iowa) Corn Bowl will look like. I'm kind of shocked that the Heroes Trophy hasn't been leaked onto the intrawebs yet. I think the reason for that is because people only leak things that they care about and the reaction to the Heroes Game announcement was...subpar.

So, back to my original question. Iowa may be our end of season rival, but can we really hate them? I mean what has Iowa really done to deserve our hatred? We're not  Purdue. The Boilermakers have reason to hate the Hawkeyes. They've beaten the Hawkeyes more often than not since 1910 (Purdue 45 wins, Iowa 33 wins, 3 ties), but pesky Iowa sneaks in a win every now and then. Can you image losing to Iowa 33 times? I guess that would generate some hate.

"Who hates Iowa?"

Most of my family is from a small town in Iowa called Manning. My relatives from Iowa weren't big into football. I had an aunt that went to Iowa State and her husband would go to Ames occasionally for a game. He really didn't care much about either of the two in-state football schools and was known more for instigating arguments between the Hawkeye family members and the Cyclone family members.  He would sit back and listen to both sides bicker about who was better and wait for a moment where they would stop arguing to throw in a comment like, "So what do you think about the Huskers?" This would result in everyone in the room turning at the same time to glare at my Uncle.

I can see why Iowa State hates us (15-84-2), but Iowa? We hardly played them. The only real reason I can see why Hawkeye fans might hate Nebraska is the jealousy factor.

"Who hates Iowa?"

Since my roots are in Iowa and I've spent most of my life in Omaha, I've paid attention to athletics in Iowa. I wanted to see them do well, because they were my family. It's where I came from and I felt a connection there. I still keep tabs on the Cyclones because I want them to do well. I got on the horn with my ISU buddies after they beat Oklahoma State last Friday. It was a great time and they were all excited. I can't hate the Cyclones.

"Who hates Iowa?"

When I was a kid, the whole Big 8 / Big Ten thing confused me. I understood that Nebraska was always good and that they were a "top ranked" team most years. I thought that the Big 8 meant that you were a top 8 team and that a Big Ten school meant you were a top 10 team. Yea, there's a little weirdness with that thought process, but when you are a kid and don't understand the concept of a conference, just your school and that there are other schools that you play, it works. We would also travel back and forth to Iowa to see family. I would hear about the Hawkeyes and I never understood why we didn't play them every year. It seemed to make sense that we should. They were right next door. They did lose a lot back then. Maybe they were scared because they were "Big Ten" and we were better than they were because we were "Big 8". Apparently Iowa State was a top 8 school, but not Iowa.

"Who hates Iowa?"

So we got stomped last weekend by Michigan. It sucks. We can bitch about the coaches or the players or the refs or the wind all we want. Fact is, there is another game to be played this week. The team doesn't have time to complain or reflect on Michigan or Iowa will catch them off guard. A 10-3 regular season is ok for our first trip through the conference. Getting smoked in two of those losses is concerning, but the coaches need to learn the new conference too. Remember Oklahoma 2008? We learned. We got better. We were competitive with the Sooners the next two times we played em. If we lose to Iowa and Northwestern beats Michigan State, we will tie for 4th in the Legends division. Since Northwestern beat us head-to-head, that actually puts us at 5th in the division.

This game is important because losing to Iowa will create a 3-loss November. That's not a good way to enter bowl season. Beating Iowa will give us a strong finish to our first year in the Big Ten and a likely Florida-based bowl game against the ess eee sea.

"Who hates Iowa?"

Ok. I'm done with all of my tangents. I didn't have time to write up a story for each thought that was going through my head so they all get smashed into one story.

I don't hate Iowa. A win on Friday would just seem like another win for me at this point. I'm not even sure that I care about the "rivalry trophy(ies)" being crafted for this game. A loss would be similar to Northwestern. Of course I don't know too many Northwestern fans that give me flack about it. I wonder how the Hawkeye fans would treat the win? Would I learn to hate em as much as Purdue does? Time will tell.

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