In-State Rivalries: The Cy-Hawk Series

September 12, 2014 by SbS Football Staff | with 0 comments

The best in-state rivalry game of the week will be in the state of Iowa on Saturday, as the only two FBS teams from the state face off in the annual Cy-Hawk series. Iowa State will make the two hour drive from Ames to Iowa City to face the Hawkeyes, and the rivalry ranks as our second best in-state rivalry since 2000 (full list available here: Best FBS Rivalries Since 2000).
Although Iowa defeated Iowa State fifteen consecutive times from 1983 to 1997, the series has been more competitive in recent years as the teams have split the series seven games apiece since the turn of the century. The Hawkeyes enter the game at 2-0 after escaping at home last week versus Ball State, while the Cyclones fell to 0-2 with a heartbreaking loss to Kansas State. 
Is The Game An Indicator Of Season Success?
Because the Cy-Hawk series is usually held in early September (2001 was the last year it wasn’t), we wanted to see if the outcome of the game is an indicator of season success (or lack thereof) for both teams. Is either team more likely to have a better record if they beat their in-state rival? The answer...a little, but not much.

Although both teams have a better winning percentage in the years they win the rivalry game, it is not significant enough for us to believe it dictates the outcome of the rest of the season. Since 2002, the Cyclones have a 0.483 overall winning percentage in the years they beat the Hawkeyes and only a 0.337 winning percentage in the years they lose the game. Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes have an overall winning percentage of 0.687 since 2002 in the years they beat the Cyclones and only a 0.593 winning percentage in the years they lose. 
Series Facts Since 2000
As we noted above, the Iowa / Iowa State football series ranks as our second most competitive FBS in-state rivalry since 2000. Below are 12 facts about the rivalry since the turn of the century (in no particular order).
  1. The series is tied at 7 wins each since 2000
  2. The overall score of the series (since 2000) is Hawkeyes 320, Cyclones 252
  3. The Cyclones average margin of victory has been 6.6 points per game
  4. The Hawkeyes average margin of victory has been 16.3 points per game
  5. Total records entering the rivalry game since 2000 are similar; the Hawkeyes have a total record of 23-7 and the Cyclones have a total record of 22-8
  6. The overall regular season records since 2000 are very different; the Hawkeyes have an overall record of 102-64 and the Cyclones have an overall record of 72-93 (does not include bowl games)
  7. Since 2000, only once has there been an overtime game and it went into three overtimes (2011: ISU 44, Iowa 41)
  8. Three times the game has been tied after the 3rd quarter (2001, 2006 and 2008)
  9. The longest winning streak by any team has been three years and both teams have done it once; the Cyclones from 2000 to 2002 (a five game winning streak if you include 1998 and 1999) and the Hawkeyes from 2008 to 2010
  10. In 2002, the Hawkeyes finished the regular season with an 11-1 record; its only loss was a home game against the Cyclones (36-31)
  11. There have been two years where the Cyclones entered the game with a 2-0 record (2003 and 2008), lost the game to the Hawkeyes, and then didn’t win another game the rest of the season (2-10 final record both years)
  12. The only time the Cyclones have entered the game with an 0-2 record was in 2007, and they defeated a Hawkeye team that was 2-0 (the same records entering this weekend’s game)
Saturday Guarantees
The Hawkeyes are double-digit favorites and are the better team on paper, but a win is no guarantee when it comes to this rivalry. The only guarantees for this Saturday in Iowa City (and the rest of the state), is there will be plenty of cardinal and gold, plenty of black and gold, and plenty of beverages flowing.

Sources: statistics from official Iowa and Iowa State team websites