This long ad-nauseam debate over “are they/aren’t they” has played out far too long. Just accept it, the Iowa Hawkeyes are our Nebraska Cornhuskers true rival in the Big Ten at this point. It is not a forced rivalry, nor does it matter what the all-time record is. Any argument otherwise is a pretentious attempt to swat away the opposing side’s fanbase while demonstrating one of the very points of why it is in fact a rivalry.
Look, if you think a rivalry can only be defined by two top-tier programs going at it year-in and year-out for titles then you are a [sports] snob who nobody likes and always ignores at parties in addition to being dead wrong. Nationally relevant rivals exist, sure, and for those rivalries one can look at Auburn-Alabama, Alabama-LSU, or kind-of once in a while Michigan-Ohio State or Ohio State-Penn State. Guess what, there are 130 FBS programs though. Almost all of them, if not all, have at least one “rivalry” game. That is because there is more than one kind of a rivalry.
A rival can be a team you have a unique history with in terms of one being a consistent spoiler to the other any given year. It can be because you compete for titles with the other. It can be simply because you have just plain “always played them” ala-ND vs. USC or ND versus Navy. Hell, it can be because it is Army-Navy, and if you don’t think that is a rivalry that doesn’t have any true impact in conference titles or bowl games then why are you even trying to talk about sports because you know nothing. In the case of Nebraska versus Iowa, it is a textbook example of an opponent where you circle that game and say “beat those lousy bastards so I can rag on them all year long;” trash talk each other all year long regardless of a game’s outcome; or where you God-forbid lose that game and it ruins your entire year because you have to listen to those miserable sons-a-bitches.
Guess what fellow Cornhuskers? That is exactly what a rivalry is! Hence Iowa is a rival. Now name one team where there is that deep-seated hatred, history of noteworthy games to both fan bases, or importance of winning that particular game to get to your goals for the season that exists in the Big Ten to this point.
I will give you a moment while you struggle to name one.
Give up finally? Good. There is no other team out there. Name one distinctly important game against the Wisconsin Badgers that was competitive and has that lasting “almost” memory. The only one that should come to your mind is 2016, and beyond that this is a series we all want to forget about thus far. The Minnesota Golden Gophers actually feature the longest history of games against us. While that game does feature the best rivalry trophy ever, the game itself is not anything anybody circles on the calendar besides our fearless leader Jon Johnston.
Penn State is not a rival. Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State are definitely not rivals, either. The closest thing to a budding rival in the sense of fun fan banter (battle for NU) and competitive games is the Northwestern Wildcats. Disagree? I don’t care, you’re wrong. However, this game is not quite there in terms of longevity to reach “rival” status, but it is the most promising of the other 12 schools after Iowa.
Even in all the sports outside of football the games against Iowa generally have some of the highest interest each season for those sports when it comes to conference opponents. No matter how you shake it, the second Nebraska decided to join the Big Ten, it was pure fate that Iowa was immediately the new rival-to-be simply out of the sheer hatred each fan base holds among its average member for the other. No matter what claims of it being too “forced” on the fan bases, and sure it smacks of that at times with things like that monstrosity of a trophy, it is entirely homegrown in reality. From the automatic “disrepek” thrown at the Hawkeyes from west of the river, to stupid comments made by the Athletic Director that shall not be named, and finally to the absolute atrocity that is losing to them any given season in any sport whatsoever, Iowa is our rival and we are theirs.
Deal with it everyone, and just to be clear, Iowa corn sucks!
Is Iowa our rival?
This poll is closed
Stop asking already because the answer is so obviously YES!!!!!