The Iowa Hawkeyes finally managed to turn things around, if not stabilize them in Week 10 by beating the Northwestern Wildcats 17-12. It wasn’t pretty, but Iowa returned to the win column after a pair of losses to Purdue and Wisconsin in their previous two outings.
That’s more than can be said for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, who entered last week atop the Big Ten West still masters of their own destiny and quickly lost to Illinois 14-6. It came after what had been a solid 4-game winning streak, including a critical win at Purdue. But the Gophers also lost to Bowling Green on their resume and aren’t on their fourth string after the AMRBHG hit Mo Ibrahim, Trey Potts and Bryce Williams.
Now, Minnesota and Iowa are gearing up to face The Pig in play, as well as critical positioning in the Big Ten West. Both teams currently sit 4-2 in the conference, but the Gophers still have a year-end date with Wisconsin that could decide who wins the West. An Iowa win on Saturday would have the Hawkeyes backing Minnesota to take care of the Badgers in Minneapolis the final week of the year.
Here’s a quick look at the details of this weekend’s game.
Dated: saturday november 13
Time: 2:30 p.m. CT
Match: Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-3, 4-2) ranked 19th Iowa Hawkeye (7-2, 4-2)
Location: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, Iowa
Preliminary weather forecast: windy with temperatures around 40°C, 30% chance of rain
DraftKings opening line: Iowa -6.5, O/U 37.5*
There are very a few opponents Iowa has more history with than Minnesota. These two programs have met a total of 114 times, with Minnesota holding a sizable lead in the all-time series. However, the vast majority of that lead was accrued in the early days of college football when Minnesota was a national powerhouse.
The Gophers have won 29 of the first 34 meetings in this series, but since the end of World War II, Iowa have held a 45-33 series lead. That includes winning the last six of it and all four meetings that have featured current head coach PJ Fleck.
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is 16-6 against Minnesota. The Gophers haven’t won in Iowa City since Ferentz’s freshman year at Iowa City – 1999. Minnesota has gone through four more coaches since Glenn Mason released the pig from Iowa City last millennium.
That’s a pretty good reason to hate Iowa.
Before Minnesota hated Iowa, the Hawkeyes hated Minnesota. They also had good reasons. In the early 1930s, Iowa star running back Ozzie Simmons was black. In 1934, Minnesota players reportedly went out of their way to target Simmons for unnecessary brutality on a regular basis.
As Iowa prepared for the game in 1935, Hawkeye fans began to stand up to the Gophers, including sending death threats to the Minnesota head coach. It got to the point where Iowa Governor Clyde Herring indicated that Iowa fans could take matters into their own hands, saying:
“These Minnesotans will find 10 more top-notch football players besides ‘Oze’ Simmons against them this year, plus if the officials go along with rough-and-tumble tactics like the ones used by Minnesota last year, I’m sure the crowd won’t.”
After Minnesota threatened to pull out of the series, the governors of both states met to ensure play would continue with Minnesota Governor Floyd B. Olsen writing to Herring to offer a bet:
“Dear Clyde, the people of Minnesota are thrilled with your statement about the Iowa mob lynching the Minnesota football team. Minnesota against an award-winning pig from Iowa that Minnesota wins today.
And so, Floyd of Rosedale was born.
Although Floyd is no longer a live pig delivered across state lines to the annual winner, he remains arguably college football’s finest trophy. And the story does not end at the beginning. As our own Matt Reisener wrote a few years ago, the racial stories in this series have continued for decades.
Not race-related, but the series drama spilled over into last year’s reunion. You’ll recall Minnesota head coach PJ Fleck opting to keep his starters late a season ago, scoring a touchdown in time. Iowa responded by using all of their timeouts to close the game and send a message.