Iowa - are they a rival? Are they not a rival? There's been so much time spent on the subject over the past few years, particularly involving teams that wear black and gold. Perhaps were Iowa a red and white team we would be more accepting.
That seems to be the differentiator. Oklahoma = red and white = rival. Iowa = Missouri = Colorado = not a rival.
Wisconsin = red and white = desired rival. What I don't understand is the desire for Wisconsin as a rival when I've heard from so many Husker fans about how horrible the experience was in Madison, that they'll never back, the students are nasty, etc.
Is it that rivalries must be made up of bad fan behavior? Or are they simply designated as the last game of the regular season?
I don't know. I'm not sure I care either. I know that I do not want Nebraska to lose to Iowa in anything, ever. Is that enough to make them a rival? It is for me - I have pretty low standards.
On to the important numbers for this game!
1 - As in the University of Iowa was selected as the top party school in the nation this past year. One also stands for the number of young people I personally know that did not visit their campus solely because of that designation.
1 - I once knew a pretty girl who lived in Iowa. I'm pretty sure she's left, though.
3 - Other guys besides Ameer Abdullah who were selected as finalists by the Doak Walker Award, snubbing Ameer Abdullah; Ka'Deem Carey of Arizona, Bishop Sankey of Washington, and Andrew Williams of Boston College. Carey has 1,559 yards for 5.4 yards per carry, 16 touchdowns and is second nationally in rushing yards per game (155.9) . Sankey has rushed for 1,575 yards, and 17 touchdowns this season and is fourth nationally in rushing yards per game (143.18). Williams has rushed for 2,073 yards this season, 16 touchdowns, and averages 6.48 per carry. He's the only guy over 2,000 yards so far this year, and has 320 carries.
4 - The number of times Iowa has had 10 wins during the regular season in football throughout their history.
5 - Nebraska's national ranking in opponent third down conversions, giving up 29.41%. Iowa is 31st, giving up 35.37%.
5 - As in FIVE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS! Iowa has one that they claim because the FWAA gave them a trophy in 1958. Next offseason, I think we'll go back in history and make up stuff and claim some more because that's what everyone else does.
6 - Abdullah's national rank in rushing yardage per game (134.82). Would you trade him for any of those other guys? Maybe not if you had to actually trade him because he's a team leader.
7 - As in Nebraska has won the last seven of eight meetings.
7 - As in seventh nationally for Iowa in punt return average at 15 yards per punt. They have two touchdowns in their return game, lead by Kevonte Martin-Manly who is currently 8th nationally with 16.22 yards per punt. Nebraska is 121st here, averaging 3.1 yards per punt. You could probably fall forward and get 3.1 yards per punt. I have no idea what the Huskers are doing here other than they want to get Jordan Westerkamp killed. Anyone?
9 - Nebraska's national ranking in field goals by percentage at 91.7. Iowa? They're 54th at 75 percent. Pat Smith could play a huge factor again this week for the Huskers. He's 13th nationally with a 90.9 percentage. Iowa's Mike Meyer is 51st, at 75 percent.
10 - Iowa's national ranking in total defense, giving up 304.5 yards per game. Nebraska is at 45th nationally at 374.7 yards per game.
11 - Nebraska's national ranking in sacks, as in "total number of sacks" with 32. Move that statistic to stats per game and the Huskers are at 13th. Iowa has 18 to rank 83rd. Randy Gregory has 7.5 sacks, leading the Big Ten and 28th nationally. Iowa is lead in this category by senior linebacker James Morris with four.
14 - Nebraska has limited Iowa to 14 points or fewer the last seven meetings.
15 - Iowa's national rank in opponent red zone conversions for touchdowns at 50%. Nebraska is 84th here at 63.64%. Change the rank to score percentage, Iowa drops to 94th (Field goals are SO B1G!), while Nebraska drops to 116th.
17 - The number of unanswered points scored by Iowa in their comeback win over Michigan last week. The Hawkeyes were down 21-7 at half, largely due to turnovers, and came back to win 24-21. It was their first win this season while losing the turnover battle.
19 - Nebraska's national rank in rushing offense at 233.73 yards per game. Iowa is 43rd at 191.55.
20 - Approximate number of pounds of bacon you can expect to get from a 300 pound pig.
20 - Check this out from the Iowa game notes:
The Hawkeyes have had at least one former player on a Super Bowl roster for 10 con- secutive seasons, the eighth longest streak of any program in the country. Nebraska has had a former player on a Super Bowl roster for 20 consecutive years, followed by Purdue (14), Ohio State (12), LSU (12), Georgia (12), Illinois (12), Florida (11), Iowa (10), and Texas (8).
29 - Tight End C.J. Fiedorowicz has recorded at least one reception in 29 consecutive games, a streak that ranks second among active FBS tight ends; Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins is first with 36 straight games with a catch. Fiedorowicz has 82 catches for 398 yards over the last 29 games, and has caught all nine career touchdowns during the streak. Fiedorowicz has 23 receptions for 230 yards and a team-high five touchdowns this season.
66 - Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock's national rank in quarterback rating. Rudock is a sophomore. He's 186-for-309 for 2,155 yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
113 - Nebraska's national ranking in turnover margin at - .82 per game. The Huskers are -9 on the season. Iowa isn't exactly great here, ranked 74th at - .18 per game and -2 on the season. The Hawkeyes haven't played a turnover-free game this season (just like Nebraska) and were -3 last week against Michigan.
115 - Iowa kicker Mike Meyer's current streak in successful PAT attempts. That's an Iowa school record, the fourth active streak in the nation and fourth-best in the Big Ten.
175 - Total tackles by Iowa's starting linebackers. Anthony Hitchens leads the team with 95, followed by James Morris with 89 and Christian Kirksey with 86. All three are seniors. Remember their names.
1,483 - Abdullah's rushing yardage so far this season. He's averaging 6.4 yards per carry and has scored seven touchdowns on the ground (two more in the air). Iowa's leading rusher is Mark Weisman, who has 894 yards, a 4.7 yard per carry average and has scored five touchdowns. Abdullah's 1,483 yards are the sixth-best in a season in Nebraska history.
About 4,500 - Number of Husker fans who secretly want Nebraska to lose so that Bo Pelini will be fired.
3.4M - Number of people who will watch this game on TV who will complain that they've eaten too much, had too much to drink, and will blame both things on their relatives.