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Sports Then and Now



Newest and Best Rivalry in the Big 10: Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers 8

Posted on January 13, 2011 by JA Allen

Hayden Fry began his coaching dynasty at Iowa in 1979.

Iowa has been skirmishing with Nebraska since 1891—mostly on the gridiron.

For the time being, we will forget about the Iowa-Nebraska legal border battles over land left in dispute by the meandering Missouri River. That is another whole story.

Since the two schools began competing, Nebraska has built a double-digit lead over Iowa (26-12-3). It is especially galling to the Iowa faithful that the Hawkeyes have defeated the Cornhuskers only once since 1946.

Fans feel their Iowa football team has played the role of punching bag way too often in this rivalry.

At least there were long periods of time when the Hawkeyes did not have to play their Missouri River border rivals. But that will all change very soon as Nebraska joins Iowa in the Big Ten Conference as a member of the “Legends” Division—more on those unfortunate division monikers later.

The first 10 games played between Iowa and Nebraska were held in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area, with Iowa winning four outright and tying the Huskers twice.

Iowa and Nebraska, along with Kansas and Missouri, were members of the Western Interstate University Football Association from 1892-1897. Iowa’s conference associations varied until it joined the Big Ten Conference in 1899.

Since Iowa lost to Nebraska in its first home contest held in Iowa City in 1903, the wins against the Cornhuskers have been pitifully few. Playing intermittently, the Hawkeyes scored victories in 1918, 1919, 1930, 1942, 1943 and 1946 as non-conference opponents.

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