Though it may not be as highly touted as the showdown with Minnesota, the Wisconsin Badgers and Iowa Hawkeyes have been doing battle on the girdiron almost as long as the Badgers and Gophers.
The two interstate rivals first met in 1894, when the Badgers downed the Hawkeyes 44-0. It remains the largest margin of victory in the series to this day.
The all-time series is tied at 42-42-2. Wisconsin claimed a dramatic 31-30 victory at Kinnick Stadium in the latest meeting back in 2010. The Badgers came back from a six-point deficit in the fourth quarter, thanks, in part, to a 17-yard run by punter Brad Nortman on a fake punt, that kept , what eventually became, the go-ahead drive alive.
Both teams have been members of the Big Ten for over 100 years and have combined for 24 conference championships.
The series has played host to numerous historic moments, but perhaps none of them carried more weight than the proceedings on November 13, 1999. Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne broke the NCAA career rushing record with 216 yards against the Hawkeyes at Camp Randall Stadium.
No rivalry would be complete without legendary coaches and this series is no exception. A pair of College Football Hall of Fame Inductees did battle from 1990-1998.
Hayden Fry was 143-89-6 in 20 seasons at Iowa. During his tenure, he led the Hawkeyes to three Big Ten titles. He was 15-2-1 against Wisconsin during his tenure, including a 10-game winning streak against the Badgers from 1985-1996, the longest streak by any team in the series.
Wisconsin’s Barry Alvarez is widely credited for being the modern day savior of the football program in Madison. Alvarez took a lowly Badgers squad and turned them into a perennial contender. In 16 seasons at Wisconsin, Alvarez accumulated a 118-73-4 record. The Badgers captured three Big Ten Championships under his guidance and were 5-9 against the Hawkeyes. Though the head-to-head mark against Iowa may not appear impressive, Wisconsin’s five consecutive victories over Iowa from 1997-2001 represented its longest winning streak against the Hawkeyes since five consecutive wins from 1962-66.
This coaching tradition has been passed down to the successors of the afore mentioned legends.
Kirk Ferentz in 96-66 in 13 seasons at Iowa. He has led the Hawkeyes to a pair of Big Ten championships and 10 bowl games where he is 6-4. 222
Former Iowa nose guard and assistant coach Bret Bielema was tabbed to lead the Badgers in 2006. Bielema holds a record of 60-19 at Madison. He has led his sqauds to two Big Ten titles and six, consecutive bowl game appearances.
Fine instruction, mixed with quality athletes, has enabled many young men to play on Sunday afternoons. Including the most recent draft class, Iowa and Wisconsin currently have a combined total of 82 players in NFL. Such numbers have become an expectation for the two programs who have cranked out a combined 498 NFL draft picks in their history.
The Heartland Trophy was added to the mix in 2004, it is one of only two traveling trophies the Badgers play for, while it is one of four for the Hawkeyes. Much like the all-time series, the competition for the Heartland Trophy has been highly contested. Iowa holds a, slight, 4-3 advantage since the trophy’s inception.
Due to the Big Ten moving to two divisions, the series has been on hold. The Badgers and Hawkeyes did not meet in 2011 and will not square off in 2012.