Cy-Hawk History Features An Interesting Iowa State Jersey Choice
Growing up an Iowa Hawkeye fan during the 1980's and 1990's, the Iowa vs. Iowa State football rivalry was, well, a bit one sided. Hayden Fry and the Hawkeyes used the Cyclones as an early season whipping post most years. Its not wonder the folks over in Ames hated the black and gold so much. Flash forward to 2021 and the rivalry game known as the Cy-Hawk game has been much more of an even contest over the years. Sure, Kirk Ferentz has enjoyed some nice winning streaks, but Matt Campbell has ISU rolling and ranked 9th in the nation. Saturday's game could go either way. But what a lot of Iowa fans might not remember is how heated things were between the two teams when the rivalry game was renewed in the late 1970's.
GoIowaAwesome.com points out that the Iowa/ISU football series was renewed and played again during the 1977 season. To say that Iowa State wanted to beat the Hawkeyes badly would be an understatement. Check out the jerseys ISU wore that day!
Yes, the player on the right wearing white is ISU, and on the front of their jerseys it says 'Beat Iowa'. Now that is some serious dedication. Unfortunately, the jerseys didn't work. Iowa prevailed that day 12-10. But the following year in 1978, another strange thing happened. That would be the only year that Iowa State was ranked going into the big game, and Iowa wasn't. GoIowaAwesome points out that the 'Clones were coached by Earl Bruce that year and were ranked #20 in the nation. ISU ended up blasting Iowa that year 31-0! Earl Bruce left after that 8-3 season for Iowa State for Ohio State. Iowa fired their head coach, and hired some Texan named Hayden Fry.
Most Iowa fans just assume that Fry dominated Iowa State. Sure, his first win came against the Cyclones in 1979. But he then went on to lose three Cy-Hawk games in a row! That included Iowa teams that went to the Rose Bowl and the Peach Bowl! Fry went on to eventually dominate the rivalry game during the 1980's and early 90's, winning 15 Cy-Hawk games in a row at one point.
But things are different now. Both schools feature strong programs. Both schools represent the state of Iowa is a positive way. And no doubt, both will play hard and want to win on Saturday. Let's have a Cy-Hawk game to remember!