Yes, Iowa football and Minnesota play for a pig. Here's what to know about Floyd of Rosedale history
Take a look through Iowa football's trophy case and one award in particular might catch your eye.
It's a pig.
Each season, border rivals Iowa and Minnesota square off for bragging rights and the Floyd of Rosedale trophy. On Saturday, the Hawkeyes will have a chance to keep the pig in Iowa City.
The Hawkeyes (7-2, 4-2 in the Big Ten) host the Gophers (6-3, 4-2 in the Big Ten) on Saturday at 3:05 p.m. CT in a game with sizeable Big Ten West Division standing implications.
Hawkeye quarterback Alex Padilla will make his first career start on Saturday after completing 18 of his 28 attempts for 172 yards in Iowa's 17-12 win over Northwestern on Nov. 6. The Gophers enter Saturday's matchup having lost 14-6 at home to Illinois that same day.
Ahead of the 115th matchup between the programs, let's take a look at what Hawkeye and Gopher fans need to know about the battle for the Floyd of Rosedale.
What is the Floyd of Rosedale?
It's a pig, and it used to be a live one. Seriously.
Minnesota and Iowa's rivalry dates back to the early 1900s. Their first meeting occurred in 1891, but the teams met on a somewhat-regular basis starting in 1901.
In the 1930s, Iowa running back Ozzie Simmons burst onto the scene. The Black tailback starred for the Hawkeyes, but fans believed opposing Minnesota players deliberately roughed Simmons up in-game. Simmons would confirm fan suspicion years later in an interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune, alleging Gopher players piled on after plays were over.
Heading into the Iowa-Minnesota battle of 1935, Gopher head coach Bernie Bierman received threatening notes from Hawkeye fans. From there, word spread that fans could potentially storm the field if Simmons was unfairly hit, according to the African American Registry.
Then-Iowa Gov. Clyde Herring didn't help dispel those intentional roughing rumors, saying, "Those Minnesotans will find 10 other top-notch football players besides 'Oze' Simmons against them this year, moreover, if the officials stand for any rough tactics like Minnesota used last year, I'm sure the crowd won't."
With Bierman threatening to break off competition with Iowa, Minnesota governor Floyd B. Olsen sent a message to Herring on the day of the rivalry game: "Dear Clyde, Minnesota folks are excited over your statement about the Iowa crowd lynching the Minnesota football team. If you seriously think Iowa has any chance to win, I will bet you a Minnesota prize hog against an Iowa prize hog that Minnesota wins today."
Minnesota ended up winning that game, and Herring traveled to Minnesota and delivered a live pig. The rest is history.
How much does Iowa and Minnesota's Floyd of Rosedale trophy weigh?
It's heavy — 98 pounds, to be exact — and measures 15 inches tall and 21 inches long.
Kirk Ferentz reignited the rivalry by keeping the pig and leaving his timeouts
Tensions are nowhere near as high as they were in the 1930s, but in 2020, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz reignited the rivalry late in the Hawkeyes 35-7 win.
With the game well at hand, Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck kept his starters in the game and scored a garbage-time touchdown and broke a would-be shutout. Ferentz's response? Calling three consecutive timeouts.
“Figured we’d take Floyd with us and leave the timeouts here.”
When asked about last season's timeout drama at the 2021 Big Ten media days, Fleck said there were no hard feelings.
“That doesn’t affect me one bit," Fleck said back in July. And you know what? We haven’t beat ‘em. So they can do what they want to do. They have Floyd of Rosedale. They have the pig. They have something we really want in their trophy case.”
Minnesota holds a 62-50-2 series advantage over Iowa
A good chunk of those wins came in the early 1900s. As of late, though, the rivalry has leaned toward the Hawkeyes.
Since 2001, Iowa holds a 16-4 series advantage in that span. The Hawkeyes have won six straight games against the Gophers — Iowa's longest winning streak in the rivalry's history.
Saturday's game between Iowa and Minnesota is a blackout
So plan accordingly, Hawkeye fans.
Iowa also hosted a blackout game in 2019 when Minnesota came to Iowa City. The result? The Hawkeyes came out on top, 23-19.
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