Well friends, the Hawkeyes have pretty much lit up their first two opponents and everything is looking peachy. The last test standing in between Iowa and an undefeated nonconference is 5-time defending FCS champion, the North Dakota State Bizzzon. We’ve heard it from all angles this week: NDSU is not your typical FCS team. They would almost certainly whip the Cyclones on a neutral field and likely beat Miami of Ohio too.
Well Hawks, I’m here to quickly put your doubts to rest. You see, North Dakota State has played Iowa before. Twice, actually. The Hawkeyes have yet to allow a single point to the Bizon from blizzard-land. I’ll tell you what: those Hawkeye teams from the late 1940s didn’t take any crap from the North Dakotans. Iowa head coach Eddie Anderson returned from WWII to lead the Hawkeyes in 1946. His first game back was a 39-0 beatdown of NDSU. He followed up that performance with a 59-0 shellacking of the Fargo Frackers the next year. For the non-math majors, that’s a grand total of 98-0 over two games.
According to the Iowa Alum website, Iowa Stadium (of course now known as Kinnick Stadium, or more recently, Matt Campbell’s Worst Nightmare) was enjoying good attendance at that time and ticket prices skyrocketed from $2.75 to $3. People were lucky to feed their families after splurging like that.
This will be a shorter #Flashback segment than usual. Amazingly, most stuff about college football in the 1940s was not put on the internet or Twitter right away. Not sure how they got their latest recruiting news!
With that said, let’s give it a shot.
How did North Dakota State’s seasons go? Well neither were very good, but the Stan Kostka-led Bizon had a productive 1946 by going 5-3, but then followed up with a terrible 1-7 (and five of those losses were to every team they played with a “Dakota” or “Iowa” in the name). Kostka was not the coach in 1948. Not sure why, but I didn’t care enough to find out.
Who played well for the Bizon? Beats me. They got beat by 39-0 one year and 59-0 another. Pretty sure they all sucked. They were like Iowa State before Iowa State.
Who played well for the Hawkeyes? Once again, it’s pretty hard to find a box score from those days unless you want to dig through the University of Iowa library. That would be awesome except I don’t live in Iowa City. However, here’s a fun fact for you. The 1946 Hawkeyes produced three All-Big Nine selections (between University of Chicago leaving in 1945 and Sparty joining in 1950, the Big Ten was only the Big Nine...history is fun!). Those selections were guard Earl Banks, fullback Dick Hoerner, and tackle Bill Kay. Kay was also included on the Central Press (whatever that was) All-American team. He was also second-team AP All-American in 1948. I’m going to assume Kay unleashed his inner Robert Gallery and made the Bizon defense a barren wasteland.
Who is returning that gave the Hawkeyes trouble last time? Yeah, no.
Highlights: Well, since these games were sixty years before YouTube, highlights are hard to come by. Here are some highlights from the 1947 season. Apparently they had their own CJB-VandeBerg connection.
Bonus Highlights: Let’s just watch them kick Iowa State’s ass two years ago...
Hope you enjoyed my attempt to re-create the past. Rutgers may be a challenge. The all-time series is at 0-0. But in the meantime, let’s hope the Hawks continue the series shutout against the Bizzzon. Following history, it only makes sense to expect a 79-0 Hawkeye victory Saturday. Perhaps I’ll be done with Iowa State jokes by then.