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    paperllamasunited

    [2021] Hawkeyes Host Week of Festivities, Kickoff New OOC Rivalry

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    Iowa Hawkeye QB Mikeal Black scampers early in the 1st Quarter against Mississippi State in Week 1. Black’s performance just wasn't good enough to get a W, but he'll look to right the Hawkeyes season with a win against in-state rival Iowa State this week.

     

    Less than 24 hours from now, we'll know the result of the first of hopefully many games in one of the newest regional rivalries in CFBHC. The Iowa State Cyclones travel to the University of Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes in a game that will birth fierce bloodshed (okay, maybe not that far, but a few tears may be cried) in the inaugural meeting of the two Iowa schools.

     

    With talks of starting up this series dating back years, both schools are excited to be competing against each other. The plan is for the series to alternate schools each contest, and will continue on annually, so long as each school has a shared Out of Conference slot during scheduling.

     

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    Iowa State running back Kofi McCullough will face his second Big Ten team of the season, in as many games. He pounded Wisconsin to the tune of 200 yards and 2 touchdowns on 27 carries, and despite taking a loss at Camp Randall in Week 0, will look to slam through the Hawkeyes front to ensure victory this week.

     

    Leading up to the game, the University of Iowa has hosted countless events this week for both students and the public, including a maze, a petting zoo, and a corn roast, distributing free corn dogs and ears of corn to all in attendance.

     

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    One of the many family-friendly activities this week, Monday’s Maize Madness parade saw quite a bit more traffic travel through Iowa City than normal, especially tractor traffic.

     

    A few highlights from the week included a Tuesday evening panel discussing agriculture in the Midwest. Randall Witt, a University of Wisconsin graduate, and a leading agronomist in the neighboring state, suggested that corn isn't even a top ten grain nutritionally, and that perhaps the Midwest should focus on growing more nutrition-efficient grains, like wheat, soy, rye, and barley, and to develop ways to grow superfoods amaranth and quinoa on a global scale. Witt was boo’d off the stage by a rowdy crowd of whiskey drinkers, who were consuming barrels of the distilled corn product. “Go back home to America's Dairyland - oh wait, California outproduced you by 10 billion pounds of milk last year.” shouted a member of the crowd. Such insults, these Iowa folk have.

     

    The importance of corn wasn't just lost on Randall Witt, though. On Wednesday morning at the Iowa Corn Growers Association Breakfast, Betsy Wright, a NYC transplant currently living in Des Moines for work, was confused by all of the hullabaloo in Iowa City. “All week my coworkers went on and on about how I HAD to get over here, had to bring my 3 year old daughter,” Wright drably noted. “Its… its… corn.” Wright goes back to picking at her cornbread doused in Karo corn syrup. Her daughter looks up and smiles, an ear of corn sticking out of both of her pockets.

     

    Top in-state football recruit Mike Brown, a 6’4” 309lb tackle with a 1.5/5.0 rating, has been seen on campus and at the festivities all week. “I’ll be at the game,” Brown laughs. “But with my own ticket. I want to observe this as a spectator and not a recruit, to take in all the excitement as an Iowan.” With fans of both teams heckling him about where he’ll play collegiately, all he can do is smile, and give them the same canned response. “I think I’m staying in-state.”

     

    The Governor of Iowa spoke at a brief press conference this morning, addressing his constituents to the promising tone that “Iowa corn is the most amaizing.” To apologize for his terrible dad joke, he promised to personally donate $10,000 of corn and corn-related product to food banks around the state.

     

    Tomorrow's pre-game festivities include the announcement of the Corn Court, recognizing all of the top fall sport athletes of the two schools, and following the game, the Corn King and Queen will be announced during the post-game concert, headlined by, you guessed it, Korn. To answer if the winner of “Corn Queen” should be Cyclone volleyball player Chelsea Miller, or Hawkeye soccer star Morgan Lang, we turned to the expert analysis of 6-year old “Disney princess enthusiast” Emma Havner, perched inside the cab of a John Deere combine showcased for its corn harvesting prowise, who exclaimed “I'm just ready for more corn.” We all are, Emma, we all are. Joining Miller or Lang as part of the crowning couple will be the MVP of tomorrow night’s football game. The crowning couple will then spend the long football-less weekend travelling across Iowa, promoting the industry in the state that pumps out 2.75 billion bushels of corn annually, or roughly 18% of the nation's total corn production.

     

    No matter the outcome on the field, the true Victors of tomorrow's matchup are sure to be the main sponsors of the newfound contest, the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and the Iowa Corn Growers Association. Together, with the two universities, they've partnered to make sure that the stereotypical “corn-fed offensive linemen” of the Midwest are raised right, on the far superior corn plucked from Iowan fields; and thus, the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series will kick off tomorrow at Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium.

     

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    Iowa and Iowa State will look to make their newfound rivalry the premiere matchup in the Midwest, just like their Iowa corn being the premiere Midwestern crop.

     

    “I'm really excited to watch this football game,” beems Dale Thomas, a Pella, Iowa farmer who runs 165 acres of corn, is an active member of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, and has sons at both Iowa and Iowa State. “but I'm just as excited to promote our corn. We can show the nation a few of our best things, our corn and our universities, and how we produce leaders both on the football fields, and in the corn fields.”

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