Cyclone or Hawkeye state?


Following Iowa’s win over Iowa State this past weekend, fans are claiming “Cyclone State” as the new title of Iowa.

Maura Peters, Photo Manager

Following the University of Iowa’s loss to Iowa State’s football team this past weekend for the first time since 2014, fans have begun to ponder one essential question; is Iowa truly a Hawkeye state, or is it a Cyclone state?

“Hawkeye State” has always been a nickname for the state of Iowa. In contrast to the popular opinion of Iowa fans, the nickname began long before Iowa was even considered a state. The phrase was first coined by James Edwards in 1838 due to the popular opinion that “Iowa” was an unflattering label for an area of land. Less than a decade later, the University of Iowa was established and inaugurated its first true Hawkeyes.

In 1858, Iowa State University was established. Rivalries quickly began when football was sanctioned at both universities. Any citizen in the United States can see that the longstanding rivalry has grown to extreme new heights. 

In 2022, the expression “Cyclone State” can be seen on billboards, campus posters and all over social media. It’s now common knowledge that both schools have many advantages over the other when it comes to athletics or academics. So, which school is better at what?

High school students looking to pursue careers in the medical field or under the science category are immediately drawn to U of I for its nationally-ranked and award-winning hospitals. The school provides a grand supply of staff and educators that can help students achieve their goals after receiving a 4-year degree. 

High school students interested in engineering or agricultural sciences are likely to attend ISU for the outstanding College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Engineering. With similar enrollments, the two universities tend to be very much alike academically; it is just a matter of preferred study or extracurricular involvement. 

The fan bases surrounding universities like Iowa and Iowa State have existed for decades and continue to grow every day. For athletes, universities are far more than just an area of post-secondary education. 

Former University of Iowa guard and current guard for the San Antonio Spurs, Joe Wieskamp, was born an Iowa fan and it became his dream school at a very young age. Joe attended Muscatine High School and signed his NLI to UIowa in 2018. 

“I decided to attend the University of Iowa to play basketball because I grew up an Iowa fan and have always liked their style of play. Playing in the Big Ten, which in my opinion is the best conference top to bottom, really helped me get where I am today.”

Personal preference is everything for a student-athlete. Compared to other universities like Iowa State, Iowa has an advantage when it comes to stiff competition the Big 10 is loaded with. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Rutgers are all members of the Big10 conference. 

Wieskamp has made his appreciation for the Big 10 well known. “The league is physical, and each night you have to put your best foot forward, which is something you have to do every time you step on the court in the NBA. I learned a lot of life skills in college that helped me to mature not only as a player but as a person.” 

After starting all 97 games of his collegiate career, Wieskamp was drafted to the San Antonio spurs in 2021. This new experience allowed him to reflect on his experience at Iowa, which he feels has positively influenced his future in many ways. 

From a Pleasant Valley standpoint, 2021 graduate Louie Conn decided to continue his dance career at Iowa State University. Majoring in business, Louis felt as if Iowa State provided an atmosphere that he could call home. He has been able to form close relationships with many people in just one year. “Iowa State has provided me with so many amazing opportunities, especially ones I have been able to experience while being on the dance team”. 

The two universities have significant dominance over the other in various realms of the collegiate sports world. In the past couple years, Iowa State has remained seemingly better at soccer, volleyball, basketball and track. However, Iowa has demonstrated superior skill in golf, wrestling and swimming. 

The level of competition remains consistent, with a new possible winner each year in every sport. There doesn’t seem to be a definite answer as to the title of Iowa as a “Hawkeye” or “Cyclone” state, but that loses significance because the two schools will always have a great fan base behind them. UI fan or ISU fan, there will always be wins and losses. 

As for the Pleasant Valley community, preference when it comes to the rivalry between UI and ISU is not near as equally split as expected. In a voluntary survey of 240 students at Pleasant Valley, 170 voted Iowa is truly a Hawkeye State while the remaining 70 claim it is a Cyclone State. However, this is just a small population that fails to represent the state as a whole. The big question remains unanswered, is Iowa the “Cyclone” or “Hawkeye” state?