The college football world was rocked on Thursday afternoon in a way it never has been. The coronavirus pandemic resulted in the Big Ten Conference announcing on Thursday that its teams would not be playing nonconference games and would be playing a conference-only schedule in 2020.
The decision by the Big Ten resulted in some rather notable games being canceled this season, such as Ohio State’s game against Oregon and Notre Dame’s game against Wisconsin. It also cancels a rather popular rivalry; the Cy-Hawk Series game against Iowa and Iowa State.
Canceling the Cy-Hawk Series game is just another tough blow in a long line of them for college football teams. However, it did not sit well at all with Chuck Grassley, an Iowa United States Senator, who took to Twitter to voice his displeasure over the decision on Thursday.
“Very disappointed by the Big Ten making a decision that non conference games can’t be played,” Grassley wrote in a tweet. “Don’t they realize the Cy-Hawk game is a lot more interesting than many big ten games?? Especially disappointed Iowa can’t play MY UNIVERSITY (Northern Iowa) BIG DISAPPOINTMENT.”
The Cy-Hawk Series game has been a thing since its inception in 1894, with Iowa State taking the first battle ever. However, over the last few years, the series has been incredibly in favor of the Hawkeyes.
Iowa has won five-straight games in the series and six of the last seven battles. Last year’s game was one of the more memorable battles in the series, as Iowa squeaked out an 18-17 win. But it took a little bit of hecticness in order to maintain the Hawkeyes’ hold on the Cy-Hawk Trophy.
With a one-point lead under two minutes to go, Iowa was punting back to Iowa State and hoping its defense would be able to hold off any Cyclone comeback. But instead, the Hawkeyes got it back after Iowa State cornerback Datrone Young muffed the punt and Iowa recovered the ball at the Iowa State 22-yard line.
“There’s two plays that the ball is sitting in our stomach and we don’t make the play,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said, according to the Des Moines Register. “Both of those, either of those, happen and maybe it’s a different game. That’s football. We’ve got to make the play. That’s part of it and that happened twice the first week. Those are things that, that’s the sport, that’s the game and those are the inches and wining those inches are the separating factors between winning and losing Division I college football.”
Iowa currently holds a 45-22 lead over Iowa State in the Cy-Hawk Series. Campbell has yet to beat the Hawkeyes since his hiring ahead of the 2016 season.