College Football

Cy-Hawk football game extended through 2023

Cyclones remain Iowa's premier non-conference opponent

Herky the Hawk and Cy the Iowa State mascot photographed in 2002. (The Gazette)
Herky the Hawk and Cy the Iowa State mascot photographed in 2002. (The Gazette)

Iowa State will remain the premier non-conference game on Iowa’s football schedule through the 2023 season.

Both schools announced Tuesday the Cy-Hawk rivalry contract has been extended for two seasons. Now, the Cyclones and Hawkeyes have seven games between the two schools on the schedule.

Iowa and Iowa State have played annually since resuming the series in 1977 in Iowa City. The teams first met in 1894. Iowa holds a 42-22 advantage in the series. The Hawkeyes claimed a 42-3 win in 2016 and visit Ames on Sept. 9 for the 41st consecutive meeting between the two schools.

The latest extension calls for the teams to meet in Iowa City in 2022 and Ames in 2023.

You had to kind of wonder where this series was going after Iowa athletics director Gary Barta said after last year’s ISU game that he was “intrigued” by some of the Labor Day games he saw and pondered taking a break with the Cy-Hawk series.

The LSU-Wisconsin game at Lambeau Field in particular caught his attention.

“As I watch more and more of these Labor Day kickoff classics, it’s something I might be interested in at some point,” Barta said at the time.

Barta immediately pointed out the obstacles, which, at the time, included a contract with ISU that ran through the 2021 season.

“With nine Big Ten games, playing Iowa State and playing in one of those (Labor Day) games, I couldn’t do it,” Barta said. “There’s nothing brewing (along the lines of taking a break in the Iowa State series), but it’s just intriguing.”


Unless Iowa chooses to play an 11th Power 5 opponent, the new ISU-Iowa deal will keep the Hawkeyes in a non-conference pattern of Iowa State and a pair of FBS schools in the Group of 5.

Northern Iowa is on the schedule in 2018. As it stands with the Big Ten right now, schools are not allowed to schedule an FCS school. The 2018 UNI game was on the schedule before Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany announced in 2015 the league’s “strength of schedule commitment.” This move was made in concert with the B1G’s decision to play nine conference games (2016 was the first year for that).

Delany also said at the time B1G administrators have agreed to schedule one nonconference game against an opponent from a power-five conference or a top-level independent Notre Dame or BYU and to play no future games against FCS schools.

In the last five seasons, Iowa has had six sellouts (70,585) for non-conference games with three of those coming against Iowa State. Since 2008, Iowa has had 17 Kinnick sellouts in non-conference games with five of those coming in Iowa State games.

The Cy-Hawk series between the men’s basketball teams extended their series last year through the 2019 season with all games being played on Thursdays.

Here is a list of Iowa’s announced non-conference opponents through 2023:


Sept. 2 — Wyoming (Mountain West)

Sept. 9 — at Iowa State (Big 12)

Sept. 16 — North Texas (Conference USA)


Sept. 1 — Northern Illinois (Mid-American Conference)

Sept. 8 — Iowa State (Big 12)

Sept. 15 — Northern Iowa (Missouri Valley — FCS)


Aug. 31 — Miami (Ohio) (MAC)

Sept. 14 — at Iowa State (Big 12)

Sept. 28 — Middle Tennessee (Conference USA)


Sept. 5 — Northern Illinois (MAC)

Sept. 12 — Iowa State (Big 12)


Sept. 11 — at Iowa State (Big 12)


Sept. 10 — Iowa State (Big 12)


Sept. 9 — at Iowa State (Big 12)

Here are the attendance figures for Iowa’s non-conference home games since 2008


Sept. 3 — Miami (Ohio) 68,390

Sept. 10 — Iowa State 70,585

Sept. 17 — North Dakota State 70,585


Sept. 5 — Illinois State 59,450

Sept. 19 — Pittsburgh 63,636

Sept. 26 — North Texas 56,041


Aug. 30 — Northern Iowa 66,805

Sept. 6 — Ball State 64,210

Sept. 13 — Iowa State 70,585


Aug. 31 — Northern Illinois 67,402

Sept. 7 — Missouri State 64,201

Sept. 21 — Western Michigan 66,886


Sept. 8 — Iowa State 70,585

Sept. 15 — Northern Iowa 70,585

Sept. 22 — Central Michigan 70,585


Sept. 3 — Tennessee Tech 70,585

Sept. 17 — Pittsburgh 70,585

Sept. 24 — Louisiana-Monroe 70,585


Sept. 4 — Eastern Illinois 70,585

Sept. 11 — Iowa State 70,585

Sept. 25 — Ball State 70,585


Sept. 5 — Northern Iowa 70,585

Sept. 19 — Arizona 70,585

Oct. 3 — Arkansas State 67,989


Aug. 30 — Maine 70,585

Sept. 6 — Florida International 70,585

Sept. 13 — Iowa State 70,585

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