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After a few days off to cover the Badgers Spring football game we're back at it on our MTB College Sports Bucket List - where we are tackling the 100 College Sports Events and Games you have to see before you die and we're on to No. 97 on our list.  The first few games have been a little off the radar so to speak, but you'll recognize this one no doubt about it. 

Before getting into No. 97, let me remind you of the List to this point:

No. 100 - Army vs. Canadian Royal Military College (DI Hockey)

No. 99 - Adrian vs. MSOE (DIII Hockey)

No. 98 - VMI vs. The Citadel (FCS Football)

So, make sure to check out those games but now on to the newest addition to the list.  It's a game that would've been much higher on this list if not for the fact that it wasn't on my list and is a game already crossed off of my bucket list.  What game is that?

 

No. 97 - Cy-Hawk Series: Iowa State vs. Iowa (FBS Football): 

Full disclosure, I attended Iowa State University, so this one may have a slight bias to it, but I tried my hardest to be fair... ;) 

For those of us that live in a state where there are professional sports teams at the highest level like we have here in Wisconsin it's hard to describe what these type of games mean.  I'll give it my best shot - it's like rolling the Packers vs. Bears, Packers vs. Vikings, Brewers vs. Cubs, and Brewers vs. Cardinals all in to one and add in even more hate.  It's intense and fun all at the same time, seriously these guys compete at everything.

 

(Iowa couldn't beat ISU at football, basketball, or even full table beer pong in 2007 - just shows how competitive and fun this thing called the Cy-Hawk rivalry can be)

Well, if you live in Iowa this game is one that is shaped by which team you support.  If you are a Hawkeye fan chances are you see the Cyclones as a very little brother that annoys you from time to time, especially in football.  

If you are a Cyclone fan there may not be a bigger game on your sporting calendar than this one against the "big brother" known not so affectionately as "Eastern Iowa University."  

Overall this series dates back to 1894 and this season will mark the 60th time that this game has been played.  The Hawkeyes own a pretty big advantage (there's a reason for that, which we'll get to in a bit) in the overall series at 39-20.  There have been a few long breaks in the series with the first one being a 12 year absence (1921-1933) and then an unreal 43 year absence (1934-1977).  That's when this rivalry really got good though as Iowa State won 4 of the first 6 games in the reconstituted "Cy-Hawk" rivalry.  After that though it was total domination from Iowa, winning 15 straight games from 1983 to 1997.  Since then Iowa State owned the Hawkeyes, winning 5 straight against their intrastate foes.  That 1998 game was a turning point in the rivalry as it's been much, much more competitive since then with the Cyclones owning an 8-6 advantage (including 5 straight from 1998-2002).

The jokes are all over the place (Iowa's version of Iowa State "jokes" and Iowa State's Iowa jokes) and and no matter if the game is played in Ames or in Iowa City it's a time for the entire state (unless you are a dirty Huskers fan) to gather and celebrate what makes the state great, it's people and it's awesome tailgating.

Personally I was in attendance at one of the games that has defined the rivalry in recent years, the 2007 Cy-Hawk game.  If you really want to get under a Hawkeye fans skin just ask them "How many touchdowns does it take to beat a Hawkeye?"  Answer: None - thanks to ISU's 15-13 victory over the fine folks at the institution known as the University of Iowa.  

That game and this past season's intense comeback triple-overtime win by the Cyclones serve as examples of just how intense this rivalry can become and just how unpredictable things can be.  Seriously, who beats the Hawkeyes without scoring a TD, or comes back on them with under 5 minutes remaining?  Both teams have won games over each other at each others homes as well, making the game pretty unpredictable.

Like I said from the get go, I'd put this one way up there on the list and it was for most of the staff, but my attendance at this game in the past skewed the numbers down a bit.  If you're looking for a game that you'll never know what will happen in then pack your bags for either Ames or Iowa City, but if you want real tailgating then head to Ames, just saying.