History of the Cy-Hawk

Cy-Hawk Trophy

History of the Cy-Hawk

One of the many things that make college football so great is the pageantry of a trophy game. Nothing says college football like a team running to the other side of the field to reclaim a giant axe or holding up proudly a pig or etching their team name into a jug. The Cy-Hawk Trophy makes more sense than a megaphone or a telephone and its name is not as weird or clever as the Egg Bowl or the Apple Cup or Farmageddon, but the rivalry is still a strong one.

However, the Cy-Hawk Trophy is newer than one might think for natural in-state rivals like Iowa State and Iowa. The series started in 1894, with a 16-8 victory for the Cyclones. The two sparred relatively consistently until 1920, but did not meet again until 1933 and 1934. And then there was nothing.

It was not until 1977 when the Des Moines Athletic Club donated the trophy and the series was born again. There is a big difference between Ames and Iowa City, which is one reason the series was put on hold for so long, but it is an interesting rivalry between two teams in rival conferences. While Iowa State has had less success over the years, there have been plenty of upsets, most recently in 2007 when the heavily favored Hawkeyes lost in Ames 15-13. That is the last time the Victory Bell has rung at Jack Trice Stadium after claiming the Cy-Hawk Trophy.

Even with conference’s realigning over the years, the battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy has remained an important game for both Iowa State and Iowa. And that will not change any time soon as the tradition that began just 34 years ago (which isn’t very long compared to many rivalries) continues to become an important part of college football every September.


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