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Iowa and Illinois hate each other again!!!

Forget the quadrangle, this is the B1G’s purest hate

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You may have noticed the story about Iowa canceling a sizable ticket order for their upcoming home game with Illinois. If not, this Des Moines Register article gives the basics and includes the Orange Krush statement and the Iowa Athletics statement. Feel free to parse until your eyes bleed. [If you’re required to jump through some hurdle, both statements are here too.]

Obviously, if you’re looking to drink Illinois Kool-Aid Orange Krush, we already have you covered:

But Iowa writer does wish to retort:

stewmonkey13: The only time Illinois has ever been good in any sport is because they were cheating. Kill the messenger all you want...Also Illinois students getting outflanked in PR by Gary fucking Barta. Sit there and think about what you did.

As a (the?) resident old guy who yells at clouds, I wish only to let you all know that this is excellent, and that Iowa/Illinois hatred has a long, fantastic, history.

While the high water mark was clearly Bruce Pearl secretly recording a conversation with Deon Thomas* that led to Jimmy Collins refusing to shake Pearl’s hand after games nearly 20 years later, there are other aspects worth recalling.

*The link will take you to a phenomenal article from Deadspin’s glory days. Long as hell, but truly a must read. How great was this scandal? A future SEC commissioner was involved!!! (Read the article, seriously.)

Anybody—but especially oldsters who recall Bruce Pearl and Jimmy Collins as B1G assistants—let people know just how heated this was.

HWAHSQB: When my son was in kindergarten, my wife told me I needed to go meet with his teacher. It was a little weird because she was a professor and generally wanted to do the meeting with teacher stuff. The teacher told me that my son had used the word motherfucker in class that day. One of his classmates had told another that they hated him and my son told them that it wasn’t okay to say you hated a person unless it was that motherfucker Bruce Pearl, which he quite obviously had learned from his father.


Hayden Fry arrived at Iowa and Mike White came to Illinois in 1980. Fry got Iowa to the Rose Bowl after the 1981 season, ending the Michigan/Ohio State duopoly that had monopolized the B1G ticket to Pasadena from 1968-1980. But the 1981 Hawkeyes dropped a 24-7 game to the Illini, as White’s rebuilding was showing immediate dividends.

Two years later, Iowa, fresh off their first win over Ohio State in 21 years, went to Champaign ranked #3 in the nation. They left on the short end of 33-0 blowout.

Two years after that, Iowa, smarting after a lose in the Horseshoe that ended a five-week Iowa run at #1 in the polls, hosted an Illinois team that was coming off a tie with #4 Michigan. Iowa blitzed the Illini 59-0 in the Illini’s worst loss since 1906.

By 1990, John Mackovic was in his third year as Illini head man, having replaced the scandal-plagued White. The Illini had gone 10-2/7-1 in 1989 and finished #10 nationally. Included in that was a 31-7 whipping of an Iowa team that failed to reach a bowl for the first time in nine years (and there were half as many bowls in the 80s, so that streak was impressive). The 1990 showdown featured two teams tied for the B1G lead at 4-0 in conference play. The host Illini, ranked #5, didn’t have a chance, falling behind 28-0 on their way to a 54-28 defeat. No word if Iowa NT Bret Bielema had anything surly to say after the game. But he likely did.

As Iowa fell off in the 90’s, Lou Tepper, nobody’s idea of a “look at me” coach, still made sure Illinois got their licks in, defeating Iowa by a combined 122-17 in three contests from 1993-1995.

Any football Iowa/Illinois football memories I missed? [Anybody who brings up this year’s game gets banned, right @mnw?]

HWAHSQB: This is before my time, but it’s a fun read about iowa fans throwing shit on the field because they were too big of babies to watch their team lose to Illinois


Lute Olson arrived at Iowa in 74-75. Lou Henson got to Champaign a year later. From ‘75-’80, Iowa went 10-2 vs. Illinois (meaning Henson started 2-8 vs. Iowa), but from ‘81-’90, Iowa only held an 11-9 edge. From the second matchup in ‘81, through the ‘87 season, an incredible 12 of 13 games were decided by 6 points or fewer. Iowa won eight of those, perhaps none more famous that the 91-88 OT win in Champaign in ‘87, where Iowa erased a 22 point second half deficit.

The highlight for Illini fans was undoubtedly the 118-94 demolition of Iowa on Senior Day in 1989. Seventeen days after that, Illinois had punched their ticket to the Final Four

About a week after that, a 28-year Iowa assistant coach decided to surreptitiously record a phone called with a prized recruit who he feared was getting away.

[Though Illini fan would be angry if I didn’t mention Andy Kaufman.]

HWAHSQB: Andy Kaufmann went to high school down the road from me and I was a freshman in Champaign the year he hit that shot. Without a doubt, that was and will probably always be the best day of my life. (Apologies to my children. I was really happy the day you were born, but I think you guys understand, right?)

Kind of...: Just outstanding defense by Iowa on that play, BTW. Truly.


  • In Illinois’ magical 2004-2005 basketball season, Iowa came closer than anybody (prior to OSU) at ending the Illini’s undefeated start, forcing OT in Champaign, before falling, thanks in no small part to a 31-12 Illini advantage in FT attempts. Of course, HAD Iowa pulled the upset, Hawkeye fans would now feel conflicted about giving Steve Alford, and high scorer Pierre Pierce, credit for it, so it’s probably better this way.
  • Illinois’ Rose Bowl season in 2007? Illini would’ve been conference champs but for a 10-6 loss to one of worst Iowa teams of the last 20 years. (6-6 and missed a bowl game because they lost the season finale to a 4-7 Western Michigan team helmed by...wait for it...future Illini interim coach Bill Cubit).
  • Illinois has won the last five basketball games in the series. Iowa’s last win was in Feb. 2020. Check out the highlights, especially Joe Wieskamp’s dunk at the very end to punctuate the win:

Remember that? Remember what went down afterward?