Maybe the residue of Iowa's 31-30 loss to Wisconsin at Kinnick Stadium last season stills curls Hawkeyeland nostrils like a potent whiff of Limberger cheese.
Maybe it's the sight of a former Iowa team captain leading the Badgers to a Rose Bowl that mobilized the Hawkeye army. Maybe it's the close proximity between Iowa City and Madison. Maybe it's the annual recruiting battles over prospects for the teams' similar schemes. Maybe it's the programs' comparable status as Big Ten near-elites. Whatever the reason, Iowa football fans showed Wisconsin only loathe in a SourceMedia Group poll last week.
In an online poll at www.thegazette.com that registered 4,173 overall votes, Iowa fans chose the Badgers as the football program they loathe. Wisconsin garnered 961 votes, or 23 percent of the total. New Big Ten rival Nebraska, where Iowa will end its regular season, finished second with 872 votes (21 percent.) Northwestern (690), which has beaten Iowa five of the last six meetings, finished third followed by in-state rival Iowa State (472) and perennial Big Ten power Ohio State (410).
One commenter listed numerous reasons about each of Iowa's rivals, but wrote this about Wisconsin:
"I REALLY hate losing to them: Wisconsin…insert any snarky comment from Bielema and you have my reason," Steve Rogers wrote.
To illuminate this vote, here are a few facts in the Iowa-Wisconsin football series, the Big Ten's most evenly contested rivalry:
Wisconsin Coach Bret Bielema is a former Iowa defensive lineman and team captain. Bielema also served as an assistant coach under Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz, former Iowa assistant Bill Synder at Kansas State and former Iowa assistant Barry Alvarez at Wisconsin.