Hawkeyes and Huskers Have a History

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"While I've been at Iowa, this is far and away the greatest victory." - Iowa Football Head Coach Hayden Fry after beating Nebraska 10-7 in 1981.

Though Nebraska doesn't join the Big Ten until next year, they already have a long history with Iowa. Iowa has played Nebraska 41 times, which is tied for 10th with Michigan State on the list of teams Iowa has played the most and is behind only Iowa State for non-conference teams. From Nebraska's perspective, the 41 games against Iowa is the second for the most games against Big Ten teams (Nebraska has played Minnesota 51 times). Iowa's record against Nebraska is 12-26-3.

Before 1900 (4-4-2)

Iowa and Nebraska were in the same conference once before. In 1892, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri form the Western Interstate University Football Association. The conference lasted only 6 seasons, but was one of the first conference that ever existed. The first time Iowa and Nebraska played, however, was the year before. Iowa won 22-0 in a game played in Omaha. Iowa's best season in the WIUFA was 1896. Iowa actually played Nebraska twice that year. On November 26 the teams played to a 0-0 tie. Instead of letting the season end with a tie, they played again 2 days later. Iowa won 6-0 finishing the season 7-1-1 and won the conference.
  • 1891: W 22-0
  • 1892: T 10-10
  • 1893: L 18-20
  • 1894: L 0-36
  • 1895: L 0-6
  • 1896: T 0-0
  • 1896: W 6-0
  • 1897: L 0-6
  • 1898: W 6-5
  • 1899: W 30-0

1900-1909 (0-3-1)

After the WIUFA dissolved, Iowa joined what would become the Big Ten, the Western Conference, in 1900. These were some of Iowa's best years. Over the course of the decade Iowa was 51-30-2, but struggled against Nebraska.
  • 1903: L 6-17
  • 1904: L 12-17
  • 1908: L 8-11
  • 1909: T 6-6

1910-1919 (2-5-0)

Iowa continued its bad streak against Nebraska losing the first 5 meeting of the decade which made it 8 straight games without a victory. The games weren't that close either as Iowa gave up 133 points to the Husker between 1915 and 1917.
  • 1913: L 0-12
  • 1914: L 7-16
  • 1915: L 5-52
  • 1916: L 17-34
  • 1917: L 0-47
  • 1918: W 12-0
  • 1919: W 18-0

1920-1929 (0-0-0)

Iowa and Nebraska didn't play this decade.

1930-1939 (1-6-0)

The 30s brought back the Iowa Nebraska series, but unfortunately was another rough decade for the Hawkeyes. Iowa won only 1 game against Nebraska and lost 3 in a row by just 1 point from 1932 to 1934.
  • 1930: W 12-7
  • 1931: L 0-7
  • 1932: L 13-14
  • 1933: L 6-7
  • 1934: L 13-14
  • 1937: L 0-28
  • 1938: L 0-14

1940-1949 (4-3-0)

The Hawkeyes had one of their best decades against Nebraska in the 40s despite it being one of the worst decades for the team. In 1943 and 1944, Iowa won just 1 game each year...both against Nebraska.
  • 1940: L 6-14
  • 1941: L 13-14
  • 1942: W 24-0
  • 1943: W 33-13
  • 1944: W 27-6
  • 1945: L 6-13
  • 1946: W 21-7

1950-1959 (0-0-0)

The second half of the 1950s featured some of Iowa's greatest teams including the 1958 Hawkeyes. Iowa and Nebraska didn't play.

1960-1969 (0-0-0)

Iowa and Nebraska didn't play this decade.

1970-1979 (0-1-0)

After a 32 year break, Iowa and Nebraska finally restarted the series. The 1979 marked the first time coaches Hayden Fry and Tom Osborne squared off.
  • 1979: L 21-24

1980-1989 (1-2-0)

The 80s featured two of the most lopsided games in the series, but also one of the biggest upsets. In 1981, Nebraska strolled into Iowa City for the first game of the season ranked #7. Iowa came out of the gate quickly and was up 10-0 at halftime. The Hawkeyes held onto the lead and won 10-7. Nebraska finished the season 9-3 and #11 in the AP poll. Iowa finished 8-4 and #18.
  • 1980 L 0-57
  • 1981 W 10-7
  • 1982 L 7-42

1990-1999 (0-1-0)

In Kirk Ferentz's very first game as Iowa's head football coach, Nebraska came into town and dominated. Nebraska was #5 at the time and went onto to finished the season 12-1 and ranked #3. The Hawkeyes held Nebraska scoreless in the first quarter, but then Eric Crouch ran wild. He amassed 92 yards and 3 touchdowns on just 5 carries. The didn't let up either with a huge lead scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter. Iowa would have been blanked if it were not for a blocked punt returned for a TD by Tim Dodge.
  • 1999: L 7-42

2000-2009 (0-1-0)

The return trip to Lincoln was about equally non-pleasant as the 1999 game. Iowa was once again dominated by the #1 Huskers, though they held a 7-0 very early in the game. Eric Crouch got the better of the Iowa defense again, except this time it was through the air. He completed 10 of his 13 passes and threw 5 touchdowns.
  • 2000: L 13-42

The Future

There's no doubt that Nebraska has dominated this series. But since the last time the two teams met in 2000, their record have been nearly identical. Iowa has gone 80-41; Nebraksa 81-44. That's a winning percentage of 66.1% for Iowa and just 64.8% for Nebraska (take that Cornhuskers!). And, Iowa has arguably been more successful since then with 4 double-digit win season and 4 top-ten finishes.

Because of Iowa's recent success, fans are dying for the Hawkeyes to have a crack at Nebraska to prove the team's worth...especially because Husker fans seem to dismiss any of Iowa's accomplishments in the past decade favoring a historical look at the programs (which Nebraska obviously has the upper-hand).

So, in this case, let's hope history doesn't repeat itself and Iowa can start winning some games in this series and even it up a little bit. Whatever happens though, this is going to be one heck of a rivalry.
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