IOWA CITY — Wisconsin and Iowa renew their rivalry this week after rotating off one another’s schedules for the last two years.
The series is tied 42-42-2 and the schools have played in 72 of the last 76 seasons. Iowa and Wisconsin became one of the Big Ten’s 22 protected rivalries from 1995 through 2010 until Nebraska joined the league and divisions were installed. The schools play for the Heartland Trophy.
Next year the schools will move into the West Division together after playing in opposite divisions the last three seasons.
“The good news is moving forward we’ll be playing each year — which is what it should be — because we have a trophy involved,” said Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz, who has coached against the Badgers in 22 of his 24 seasons with the Hawkeyes. He is 6-6 as head coach against Wisconsin.
New Wisconsin Coach Gary Andersen has yet to compete in the series but understands its intensity.
“It’s 42-42-2 over the years,” Andersen said. “Whether you’ve played in that game or you haven’t played in that game, if that doesn’t gain you any respect then nothing really will.
“Our players that have been there, they’ve seen it firsthand. They understand the terrific crowd, the hectic environment. It’s a tough place to play. The crowd is very close to you and those can be very positive things if you allow them to be because it’s a great college environment. That’s why kids play football. It can be a negative if you’re not prepared for it.”
Wisconsin won 31-30 in the last meeting in 2010 at Kinnick Stadium. A total of 22 NFL draft picks, including five first-rounders, competed in that game. That number is likely to grow next spring with players like Wisconsin’s Jared Abbrederis, James White, Jacob Pedersen, Pat Muldoon and Beau Allen and Iowa’s James Morris, Christian Kirksey, Anthony Hitchens, Brett Van Sloten, C.J. Fiedorowicz and Mike Meyer.
Iowa senior defensive end Dominic Alvis will miss his second consecutive game with a back injury. Alvis was hurt against Michigan State and did not return. He left in the first quarter at Ohio State two weeks ago and did not play against Northwestern.
Junior defensive end Mike Hardy posted his first career start on Saturday and he’ll replace Alvis this week. Hardy, a Wisconsin native, said his preparation hasn’t changed with his elevation.
“(As a backup) you have to watch just as much film and study the guy just as much because it’s not like a lot of other positions where the starters play the entire game,” Hardy said. “In the defensive line, we had a rotation. I would get 20-30 snaps a game.”
©2013 The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
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