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Mind you, none of this is to say that the Illinois rivalry couldn't be resuscitated in the future.The Wisconsin series was far less meaningful when Iowa went twenty years between losses (1977 to 1997); once Barry Alvarez got the Badgers to start beating Iowa and contending for Big Ten titles, though, it took on a new life.2: QB has 22 touchdown passes, second in the Big Ten and tied for 14th in the nation.He is the first Hawkeye to throw 20-plus touchdowns in a season since James Vandenberg threw 25 touchdowns in 2011.var _dm_gaq = ; var _gaq = _gaq
The '90s weren't much better -- only one game was decided by less than 10 points (a narrow 24-21 Iowa win in 1991) -- and both teams spent much of the decade stumbling into mediocrity (or worse).
There was an outcry when Wisconsin was dropped from Iowa's schedule and the Big Ten made a point to make sure they were back on the Iowa schedule as of 2013.
There was no such outcry for the news about Illinois sliding off the schedule -- and off the schedule for so long.
Illinois-Iowa has proximity going for it, but that's about it -- and proximity alone isn't enough when Iowa maintains (or will soon be renewing) rivalries with three other border-state schools (four if you count j NW) and an in-state foil.
In the last decade, Iowa and Illinois have finished with winning records in the same season precisely once -- last year (which may also technically be each other last year.Frankly, he's probably right to do so: we're in the midst of a six-year gap between games in the football series, the longest such gap since Iowa and Illinois skipped most of the '50s and '60s (they went from 1952 to 1967 without playing one another).