In case you’re having a hard time getting too excited about the Iowa vs Minnesota game this weekend, you’re not alone. The Gophers have been horrible and even fired their head coach half way through the season (a danger here in Minnesota apparently). The Hawkeyes, though bowl eligible (my goal for every year) and not a bad season, have been a bit disappointing given the expectations coming into the season, which was basically to go to the national championship game, and as it stands a BCS game is pretty well out of the question, by a fair margin. Beyond that, (knocking on wood until my knuckles bleed) it’s a reasonably safe bet we know how the game will turn out, we hope. Minnesota has no chance of a bowl game. Iowa more or less knows where it’s going as much as one ever can until they announce it. It’s right after Thanksgiving. And it’s going to be outside and cold. And basically every other Big Ten game is of more consequence.
So, now that I’ve got you sufficiently hyped up, there are at least two points of interest for the game.
Iowa has shut out Minnesota back to back the last two years (55-0 and 12-0), which has only happened once before (1955-1956) in the series. So if they do it again, it’s a first (and great salt to pour in the wound).
The other thing is, it’s the 75th anniversary of Floyd of Rosedale. Who is Floyd of Rosedale you ask? Only the best rivalry trophy in college football:
I may be a bit biased in saying a 98 pound bronze statue of pig is the best college football trophy, but really, the story behind it is about as good as they come. MPR has a great recounting of the origins of the trophy (which admittedly I’ve pointed out before, but it’s worth the repost). Totally worth the read.
If there’s a better back story for any trophy in college football, I’d love to hear it. I mean really, compare that to the Heartland Trophy – a statue of a bull with a giant head it can’t lift off the ground (why a bull? who knows!) that Iowa and Wisconsin have played for since the distant history of… 2004, when someone said, hey, this is a always a good game and an incredibly even rivalry, there should be a trophy for this. A rivalry so bitter in fact that a former Iowa player with a Tigerhawk tattoo is the head coach at Wisconsin and feelings have gotten so harsh they’ve decided to suspend the rivalry for at least two years because the new divisions resulting form the Big Ten conference expansion suck so bad to let things cool off.
So, happy birthday Floyd. And Go Hawks.