Floyd Is On A Leave Of Absence, But Hawkeyes Would Like Him Back

Iowa's Ross Reynolds (59) and Keegan Render (69) lift the Floyd of Rosedale trophy at TCF Bank Stadium after last year's win over Minnesota. (Jesse Johnson/USA Today Sports)
John Bohnenkamp

Floyd of Rosedale wasn't in his familiar home this week.

The bronzed pig trophy that goes to the Iowa-Minnesota winner has had its usual spot in the row of trophies in the Hawkeyes' football building since 2015. But, as is tradition on trophy game weeks, the one on the line, if the Hawkeyes possess it, goes out of public view — the feeling is every Iowa team has to earn it.

The Hawkeyes know what it on the line in Saturday's 3 p.m. game against the Gophers.

"It's a trophy game, so we want to keep Floyd at home," running back Mekhi Sargent said.

The Hawkeyes currently possess Floyd, along with the Cy-Hawk Trophy from the Iowa State rivalry and the Heroes Game Trophy from the Nebraska rivalry. The Heartland Trophy from the series with Wisconsin belongs to the Badgers after Saturday's 24-22 win.

Iowa has defeated Minnesota six of the last seven seasons. Floyd stayed in Minnesota after the 51-14 win in 2014, then came back to Iowa City the following season after the Hawkeyes' 40-35 victory and has been in his familiar spot since then except on game week.

Minnesota leads the all-time series, 62-48-2.

The Gophers, 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the Big Ten, come into Saturday's game ranked No. 7 in the AP and coaches polls, and No. 8 in the College Football Playoff rankings.

"College football is so unpredictable, but in conference play, you'd better be ready every week," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "Hopefully that's something our players learn, too, is that no matter who you're playing, you need to get ready starting on Monday morning for us. In this case it's obvious because we're playing a top-10 team that's undefeated. We don't have much time to waste right now."

Ferentz is 14-6 all-time against the Gophers.

"I can remember in the '80s where it was not a healthy rivalry," Ferentz said. "When I got here in '81 it was not a healthy rivalry. There was a lot of real hostility and bad blood and all that. So I think it's just a good, competitive series, and there's a lot of that going on in the conference, which is good for everybody, I think."

Floyd is iconic, and the players know that.

Asked their favorite trophy, though, and there were different answers.

"I really like the Cy-Hawk, yeah," Sargent said.

"I don’t know," offensive lineman Kyler Schott said. "The Cy-Hawk one is pretty good. It’s always nice to have that one in your building."

"Me, personally, I don’t have any favorites," safety Geno Stone said. "I’d like to have as many as I can, though."

The Hawkeyes lost all of the trophy games in 2014, then swept them in 2015 for a full hallway of hardware. Iowa has won every trophy game except the Wisconsin game in the last three seasons, and defeated Iowa State earlier this season to keep the Cy-Hawk Trophy.

Schott, only a sophomore, is just now getting the whole trophy experience.

So no, he doesn't have a favorite.

"Not yet. I’ve never really played against all of these teams," Schott said. "Once I’ve played against all of them, I’ll realize which one I want to beat the most and win the trophy the most. As of right now, I don’t know which one it would be."