Oct. 28, 2004
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Move over Floyd, there’s a new kid in town and he joins a family of 15 other traveling trophies awarded in games pitting Big Ten Conference foes. University of Iowa Director of Athletics Bob Bowlsby and Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez introduced the new “The Heartland Trophy.” The bronzed bull will be awarded to the winner of the football game played each season between the two institutions.
“We’re delighted to introduce this traveling trophy to all Hawkeye and Badger fans,” said Bowlsby. “The Iowa-Wisconsin series has always been one of the most competitive and hard fought series’ in college football. The bull on the top of the trophy symbolizes the kind of games that have been typical when the schools meet. It’s a trophy that will be treasured by the winning team each year.”
“This trophy is a terrific opportunity to further showcase a great Midwestern college football rivalry,” said UW Director of Athletics and Head Coach Barry Alvarez. “Having served on the football staffs at both institutions, I’m very aware of how much the match-up means to fans as well as student-athletes of both schools. Playing for the Heartland Trophy adds another dimension to what is already a highly anticipated annual competition for college football bragging rights.”
“The series between Iowa and Wisconsin is one of the best in college football. The series has always meant a lot to both schools and this trophy will add to the intensity and importance of each game in the series.”
Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz
The Heartland Trophy becomes the third traveling trophy that Iowa football teams play for. The Hawkeyes already have in their trophy case, as a result of victories in the last year, Floyd of Rosedale (Iowa-Minnesota) and the Cy-Hawk Trophy (Iowa-Iowa State). The Heartland Trophy will become the second trophy game for the Badgers. Wisconsin has been playing for Paul Bunyan’s Axe against Minnesota since 1948.
The Heartland Trophy, like all the other Big Ten traveling trophies, will remain with the winner until the next game. The trophy will officially be unveiled in pre-game ceremonies Nov. 20 when Iowa entertains Wisconsin inside historic Kinnick Stadium.
The trophy was designed and crafted by artist and former UI football player Frank Strub. An Iowa City native, Strub won a freshman numeral with the Hawkeyes in 1951. Strub is now retired and living in Des Moines.
“My wife (Pat) and I wanted to give something back in appreciation of our college days” said Strub. “I think the Wisconsin-Iowa football series is something that typifies all that is good in college life. Pat and I are eternally grateful for all that we experienced as a result of our college days.”
The Big Ten’s newest traveling trophy is 30 inches tall, 36 inches long and 18 inches deep. The bull is mounted on a base made of walnut, a specie of wood native to both Wisconsin and Iowa. The trophy was cast in Wisconsin and already has the scores of all previous games between the two schools inscribed on it.
The Iowa-Wisconsin series has been the closest and most competitive of all Big Ten series. The teams have met 79 times and the Badgers lead the all-times series by a 39-38-2 margin. Iowa won last year’s game played in Madison by a 27-21 margin.
“The series between Iowa and Wisconsin is one of the best in college football,” said Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz. “The series has always meant a lot to both schools and this trophy will add to the intensity and importance of each game in the series.”
This is the first traveling trophy introduced to Big Ten competition since the Governor’s Victory Bell (Penn State-Minnesota) and the Land Grant Trophy (Penn State-Michigan State) were introduced in 1993.