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Iowa linebacker Bo Bower discusses extra help the Hawkeyes' defense can provide. Mark Emmert/HawkCentral

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IOWA CITY, Ia. — Bo Bower floated an idea Tuesday, and the word quickly spread to his Iowa teammates.

“I’d rather have a real pig. That would be sweet,” Bower said of the trophy that is at stake Saturday when the Hawkeyes host Minnesota. “Have a real pig in the weight room in a cage, so you could see it.”

The Iowa-Minnesota football rivalry has included the Floyd of Rosedale trophy since 1935. It’s a bronze pig, and the Hawkeyes are currently displaying it in their weight room after winning the past two meetings. That talisman serves as motivation for the players, said Bower, a senior linebacker.

“It reminds you that it’s a trophy game, and it can be taken away at any time,” Bower said, before upping the ante by suggesting the teams ditch the bronze pig and put a real one on the line Saturday.

Bower is from a farming family in West Branch.

Parker Hesse, a defensive end from Waukon, later laughed about Bower’s idea when talking to reporters at the football complex.

“I think the trophy’s pretty cool, but the thought of people carrying around a live pig above their heads after a win would be pretty interesting, too,” Hesse said.

Tailback Akrum Wadley, a New Jersey native, was taken aback when informed that Bower preferred an actual pig to a replica.

“We need to win,” Wadley said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a pig, a snake, a dog. … The feeling in the locker room after a win and then winning a trophy game and swarming across the field with your team is priceless.  And we need to get back the mood after a win instead of the mood after a loss.”

Iowa is 4-3 on the season after a 17-10 overtime defeat at Northwestern on Saturday.

Bower suggested he might push for his live-pig idea next year, after he’s graduated.

“I’ll put a word in,” he said. “Nobody listens to me, though.”

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