Fun Facts: Minnesota-Iowa, Famous Pigs Edition

No swine was a bigger talent than Arnold Ziffel

Arnold Ziffel and Eddie Albert. When a pig was a star.
Arnold Ziffel and Eddie Albert. When a pig was a star.

You know what separates Minnesota and Iowa? Nothing.

I’m talking about the states themselves, not the Big Ten football teams from those states. Some would say the answer is a border, but you can drive or walk right across it without anyone caring. You call that separation? I think not.

Now, for the rest of the Fun Facts about Minnesota-Iowa:

1. Iowa is ranked eighth in both major polls. It’s the highest the Hawkeyes have been ranked since they finished the 2009 season at No. 7.

2. Minnesota has lost its last 11 games against Top Ten teams.

3. This will be the Gophers’ ninth ranked opponent in their last 14 games.

4. Jim Polzin of the Wisconsin State Journal and Ross Dellenger of The Advocate in Baton Rouge, La., voted Iowa No. 4 in their Associated Press ballots this week. Josh Kendall of The State in Columbia, S.C., and Tom Murphy of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette voted Iowa 14th.

5. Minnesota beat ranked Iowa teams in 1960 and 1981.

6. Iowa has two road wins over teams that are currently ranked (Wisconsin, Northwestern). No one else in the country has more than one, and only Arizona State (UCLA), LSU (Mississippi State), Michigan State (Michigan), Mississippi (Alabama), Navy (Memphis), Notre Dame (Temple) and South Carolina (North Carolina) have one.

7. This will be the Gophers’ second-straight game against an unbeaten foe, something teams seldom encounter in November.

8. Iowa is 7-4 in night games at Kinnick Stadium, 0-0 in games that followed wrestling duals in Kinnick.

9. This is Iowa’s first sellout in its last 10 home games.

10. The 51 points Minnesota scored against Iowa last year was the most scored by an unranked team against Iowa since the Gophers’ 55-7 victory over the Hawkeyes in 1949.


11. Iowa has the second-most balanced offense in FBS with 1,845 passing yards and 1,863 rushing yards. No. 1 is Auburn, which has 1,700 yards passing and 1,712 rushing.

12. The Hawkeyes have outscored opponents by a total of 37-0 in the final two minutes of first-halves.

13. Minnesota hasn’t won at Iowa since 1999.

14. The Gophers’ coaching staff served a total of 141 years under Jerry Kill, who retired two weeks ago. Iowa’s staff has a combined 57 years of service with Kirk Ferentz.

15. Only three of Minnesota’s coaches, including new head coach Tracy Claeys, attended FBS schools. Two Gopher assistants graduated from Division III Mount Union. Others are alumni of Western Illinois, Fort Hays State, Saginaw Valley State and the University of Chicago.

16. Since Saturday is Grapple on the Gridiron, let’s note this: Iowa has 17 players who wrestled in high school and six who were state-champions. Center Austin Blythe won three state-championships at Williamsburg and reached the state finals four times.

17. Floyd of Rosedale weighs 98.3 pounds. There is a Bloomington, Minn., restaurant called 98 Pounds Buffet.

18. Actress Hilary Duff says she weighed 98 pounds in high school.

19. Floyd isn’t even close to being the most-famous pig. Why, there’s Babe, Porky, Wilbur, Miss Pigand Link Hogthrob.


20. Perhaps the greatest pig of them all was Arnold Ziffel of “Green Acres.” Arnold could write his name, change channels on a television set, play the piano, drink with a straw, deliver letters and newspapers, and predict weather with his curly tail. He attended school, and carried his lunch box in his mouth.

This clip illustrates Arnold’s greatness.

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