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Just shut up and admit it folks. They’re the only “rival” we have so far in the B1G, and no it wasn’t “forced.”
This long ad-nauseam debate over “are they/aren’t they” has played out far too long. Just accept it, the Iowa Hawkeyes are our Nebraska Cornhuskers true rival in the Big Ten at this point. It is not a forced rivalry, nor does it matter what the all-time record is. Any argument otherwise is a pretentious attempt to swat away the opposing side’s fanbase while demonstrating one of the very points of why it is in fact a rivalry.
Look, if you think a rivalry can only be defined by two top-tier programs going at it year-in and year-out for titles then you are a [sports] snob who nobody likes and always ignores at parties in addition to being dead wrong. Nationally relevant rivals exist, sure, and for those rivalries one can look at Auburn-Alabama, Alabama-LSU, or kind-of once in a while Michigan-Ohio State or Ohio State-Penn State. Guess what, there are 130 FBS programs though. Almost all of them, if not all, have at least one “rivalry” game. That is because there is more than one kind of a rivalry.