Iowa vs. Iowa State. College GameDay in the house. CyHawk Trophy on the line. Both teams ranked… in the preseason.
Then that other Iowa football team put a scare in the Cyclones in their opener and dropped ISU out of the rankings after they took a bye week to recover from the UNI experience and prepare for their older sibling’s arrival. (I guess they could have squeezed in the Drake Bulldogs again.)
For those angry online that Iowa State won and dropped in the rankings, the same happened to the Hawkeyes in 2016 after Iowa beat … Iowa State. And that score was 42-3, not a 3-point win in 3OT to an FCS team. Take a beat and let that sink in.
The CyHawk rivalry does very little for me. As a more-common-than-you-think Rock Island Hawkeyes fan growing up and attending Jordan and Alleman, I knew more Iowa, Illinois and Notre Dame fans than Iowa State fans despite being just across the river. I knew more Ohio State fans growing up here. What’s up, TV’s Pete Ivanic?
The data backs up my personal experience, plus I never get tired of showing TV’s Zane Satre these maps that show a small system of fair weather emerging in central Iowa.
I’ve attended exactly one Iowa-ISU game to complete my infinity gauntlet of Iowa rivalry trophies — and it was 2012’s 9-6 Hawkeyes loss. It was the worst college football game I’ve witnessed in person. And not because of the victor. I’ve seen some painful losses. That game was torture.
Never again, I said. But now I’m assisting with coverage as we continue to grow Hawkeye Headquarters, so I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
On the bright side, back when I was designing the cover of College Football Blitz, Hawkmania was still just a gleam in the eyes of me, Mark Monroe, Don Farber, Matt Sobocinski, Steve Batterson and Don Doxsie. (The latter two might not claim to be founding fathers, but Hawkmania was built on their coverage, just like Adam Rossow has defined Hawkeye Headquarters.) Anyway, the newspaper I produced when Iowa State beat Iowa for the first time in 15 years was hung in the athletic director’s office with care, probably with the belief that no more victories would ever come there. It’s no badge of honor for me, more like a gold-and-scarlet letter. Sorry, cardinal.
But more wins did come, and in the Ferentz era the Cyclones have become a worthy rival. Not an equal, but relevant. This is a seminal moment for Ames. If the annual CyHawk game is the Cyclones’ Super Bowl, then this might be one of the biggest games in program history. The college football community spotlight is shining on Jack Trice Stadium. I mean, they would be ranked if they win this non-conference home game.
As Kirk Ferentz says about the trip: “It happens every other year.”
But here you’ve got me monologuing again. So many words for a game I profess to not care much about. But I know you do, so here are many more words — with numbers! — to get you ready for gameday… and GameDay. It’s prediction time!
Once again, we are thrilled to have our predictions on Hawkeye Headquarters brought to you by Draft Day Sports Lounge inside Rhythm City Casino, “where you can grab a bite and make live bets!”
The Hawkeyes’ all-time leader in receptions is back for a third season of picks.
Kevonte Martin-Manley: Iowa 28, Iowa State 17
Steve Batterson: Iowa State 17, Iowa 14. Yes, I know Iowa has looked good building its 2-0 record. Yes, I know Iowa State struggled to find much rhythm in its season-opening triple-overtime win over Northern Iowa. Yes, I also know that none of that will matter when these two teams get together.
This series is filled with games that on the surface don’t make a lot of sense. Expect this one – a match-up of teams I believe will both go on and enjoy really good seasons – to be more of the same.
Expect it to be close, hard-hitting and decided by something out of the ordinary, perhaps a defensive score or special teams play. I’m sticking with my preseason gut feeling on this that the home team will find a way to win this Cy-Hawk battle.
Steven Lassan: Iowa
Mitch Light: Iowa
Mark Ross: Iowa
Dennis Dodd: Iowa State
Jerry Palm: Iowa State
Tom Fornelli: Iowa State
Chip Patterson: Iowa
Barton Simmons: Iowa State
Barrett Sallee: Iowa
Ben Kercheval: Iowa State
Kerry Miller: Iowa State 21, Iowa 18
Ralph D. Russo: Iowa State 24, Iowa 23
Zac Al-Khateeb: Iowa 24, Iowa State 23
Bruce Feldman: Iowa State 17, Iowa 14
Stewart Mandel: Iowa State 23, Iowa 20
Scooby Axson: Iowa
Michael Shapiro: Iowa
Max Meyer: Iowa
Tim Rohan: Iowa
Molly Geary: Iowa
Ross Dellenger: Iowa State
Laken Litman: Iowa State
Joan Niesen: Iowa
Edward Aschoff: Iowa 24, Iowa State 21
Kyle Bonagura: Iowa 20, Iowa State 10
Bill Connelly: Iowa 31, Iowa State 27
David M. Hale: Iowa State 14, Iowa 10
Alex Scarborough: Iowa State 31, Iowa 30
David Bearman: Iowa 17, Iowa State 10
Sam Khan Jr.: Iowa 20, Iowa State 19
Chris Low: Iowa 27, Iowa State 14
Ryan McGee: Iowa 28, Iowa State 21
Adam Rittenberg: Iowa 24, Iowa State 20
Mark Schlabach: Iowa 20, Iowa State 17
Phil Steele: Iowa 24, Iowa State 17
Tom VanHaaren: Iowa 31, Iowa State 21
Hawkeye State predictions
Scott Dochterman: Iowa 17, Iowa State 13
Marc Morehouse: Iowa 24, Iowa State 14
John Bohnenkamp: Iowa 24, Iowa State 19
Brendan Stiles: Iowa State 20, Iowa 17
John Patchett: Iowa 24, Iowa State 17
Tyler Tjelmeland: Iowa 21, Iowa State 20
Jack Brandsgard: Iowa 17, Iowa State 14
Chad Leistikow: Iowa State 24, Iowa 20
Go Iowa Awesome
Mark Hasty: Iowa 30, Iowa State 24
Black Heart Gold Pants
JPinIC: Iowa 31, Iowa State 27
Jordan Hansen: Iowa State 28, Iowa 21
Jerry Scherwin: Iowa 30, Iowa State 17
DC: Iowa 24, Iowa State 10
Matt Cabel: Iowa 24, Iowa State 17
BoilerHawk: Iowa 21, Iowa State 13
Benjamin Ross: Iowa 41, Iowa State 10
Doug Saye: Iowa 27, Iowa State 10
Matt Reisener: Iowa 17, Iowa State 13
And finally, the totally irrelevant prediction based on playing EA Sports’ NCAA Football 2004 on a PS2, as is the tradition since 2015.
Ryan Jaster: Hawkeyes 24, Iowa State 6. A methodical opening drive by the Cyclones looks threatening, but stalls at the 25, forcing an ISU field goal. The Hawks respond with an 80-yard TD run on their first play. Iowa State adds another field goal, then nothing of note happens until late in the half. Another clock-eating Cyclones drive ends with a sack after they passed up a 50-yard field goal. With a short field and 1:32 left, Iowa gets into the end zone through the air to take a 14-6 lead into the break. The Hawkeyes lose their starting quarterback early in the 3rd to a hip injury, then a receiver to a dislocated shoulder and the offense is slowed, but manages to add a 43-yard field goal. The defense picks up the slack with sacks and a huge pick at the 15 late in the 4th. A grinding, throwback, run-heavy 85-yard Hawkeye drive is punctuated by a 1-yard TD plunge that is the starting running back’s second of the day — and 165th yard. CyHawk retained.
Prognosis: After no one picked Miami or Rutgers in the first two weeks, plenty of experts are going with the Cyclones. But not as many as you’d think, considering the hype, the location and the fact a lot of national experts have jumped on this game’s bandwagon — just not on Iowa State’s. The Hawkeyes are being picked overall almost 3-to-1 and among national outlets almost 2-1. Surprisingly, only a little pain is predicted.
Predictions on Hawkeye Headquarters are brought to you by Draft Day Sports Lounge inside Rhythm City Casino, “where you can grab a bite and make live bets!”
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Ryan Jaster writes a weekly predictions column during football season for HawkeyeHQ.com and previously wrote and edited for CBS Sports, the Quad-City Times, ChicagoSports.com and the Chicago Tribune. You can follow his Hawkeye musings at @Hawkologist.