Since 1983, Iowa is 23-10 against Iowa State. The Hawkeyes have won three of the last four games in the series, including Saturday’s 42-3 beatdown in Iowa City.
Is it maybe time to end the series or at least put it on hiatus for a bit?
Kirk Ferentz says no.
“I’ve been around long enough to know a little more about the history of it,” Ferentz said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “When I got here in ’81 as an assistant, we lost that year and we lost the next year. That was three straight losses – ’80, ’81 and ’82. And then we went on a run.”
By “run,” Ferentz means 15 straight victories in the series.
“Then in 1998, they came in here as 28-point underdogs,” Ferentz recalled. “It really was one-sided at that time. And they upset Iowa, 27-9, I believe it was that day. Ever since that day, it’s been a dogfight. This game last week was just kind of an aberration, but the five games previous to that, the winner won by an average of I think five or six points. It’s gone back and forth. It’s been really a great, hotly contested series, and it’s unique in that you’ve got two major conferences represented with an intra-state rival. That doesn’t happen very often. I think it’s great for football in our entire state. The entire weekend, everyone is kind of focused on that one game. It’s fun to participate in it, compete in it and I think it’s great for our fan base – theirs as well – and I hope it continues for a long, long time.”
Ferentz also hopes his program’s success continues for a long, long time. The No. 13 Hawkeyes (2-0) are 14-2 over their last 16 games and show no signs of slowing down, especially not after last year’s 12-2 campaign.
“Based off what we’ve seen so far, I think we’ve done a good job,” Ferentz said. “The first thing we try to always remind our guys when we get together in January is whatever happened the year before doesn’t really matter. In January 2015, we were coming off a season that ended with a couple disappointing losses. So our message then was what happened in ’14 has no bearing on what’s going to take place in ’15. This year is a little bit different. Just reminding them that we don’t get any carryover credit for what we did in ’15. We got to move on. This is a whole new team because we lost 21 good seniors. Every step of the way it hasn’t been perfect, but they worked hard, they’ve had a good attitude, and at least in two games we look like a decent football team out there. So we’re hoping to build on what we started.”
Iowa started 12-0 last year before losing to Michigan State, 16-13, in a trilling Big Ten Championship game. The Hawkeyes then lost to Stanford in the Rose Bowl, 45-16.
Ferentz was an assistant when Iowa reached the Rose Bowl in 1982 and 1986.
“I was there twice as an assistant in the 80s,” Ferentz said, referring to the Hawkeyes’ runs in 1982 and 1986. “I remember the games, but I don’t remember what it was like driving there or taking any of that stuff in. So last year, I really made a point of trying to just take it in a little bit and see some things. It’s an unbelievable experience. I’m disappointed we lost, certainly. More disappointed that the game really wasn’t representative of the kind of football team that we had. That was a big out-of-season project for us. We didn’t play well in our first Orange Bowl back in 2002. We looked at our approach and things have changed a lot since then. We’ve spent a lot of time as a staff (trying to determine) what can we do to make our performance better in our bowl game, whatever bowl it may be? It was a great experience. I just feel bad, again, that the game wasn’t representative of the ’15 team that we had. But outside of that, it’s just a great experience and we hope to get back someday.”