There isn’t a more logical partner than the Iowa Corn Growers Association to sponsor the annual all-sports competition between Iowa State and Iowa.Our state has produced more corn than any other for 14 consecutive years. We grow more corn than most countries. Corn has been our state’s leading crop for more than 150 years. Or, at least, that’s the claim. Officials from Iowa Corn joined Athletics Director Jamie Pollard Tuesday to announce a three-way partnership between Iowa Corn and the athletics departments at ISU and UI. Iowa Corn agreed to sponsor one of college sports best rivalries. The competition between the Cyclones and Hawkeyes is unique in that it features two schools in the same state but from different conferences. There are similar rivalries in the Big 12 [Oklahoma / Oklahoma State (Bedlam Series), Texas / Texas A&M (Lone Star Showdown) and Missouri / Kansas (Border Showdown Series)] and Big Ten [Wisconsin / Minnesota (Border Battle) and Indiana / Purdue (Crimson and Gold Cup)]. And, there are others across the nation. But, when Iowa State and Iowa meet it’s more than school pride at stake. There are also conference bragging rights on the line. In Division 1A football, the only longer running (more than three decades) in-state football series between schools in different conferences are: Georgia vs. Georgia Tech, Clemson vs. South Carolina and Florida State vs. both Miami and Florida.
Iowa State vs. Iowa is in pretty select companyHy-Vee started the fun in 2004-05 and, under their sponsorship, the schools have alternated victories in an all-sports series every year. It’s been a good competition. Iowa Corn has plans to add new elements to the series. Those items will be unveiled in the coming months. Stay tuned. It promises to be fun. Email feedback is welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow me at: twitter.com/SteveMalchow