The Craziest Rivalries in Midwest University Sports

Rivalries in Midwest university sports are no joke, folks! They’re famous all across the country for being downright thrilling, heart-pounding, and totally captivating. I mean, we’re talking about players who can pull off the impossible, tailgates that make your mouth water, and an electric atmosphere in the stadium. But you know what really gets fans going? Rivalries, baby!

These rivalries have been brewing for over a hundred years, and let me tell you, they’re like fireworks exploding on the field. It’s the kind of stuff that gets fans from all over the world to come together and show their unwavering support. And let’s not forget, when it’s rivalry day, teams bring their A-game to take down their arch-nemeses.

In the Midwest, university athletics has always been a fierce battleground. These rivalries have been passed down through generations; man, they’re intense. You gotta witness the mind-blowing showdowns between the top universities in the Heartland and experience a game day that’s way over the top. Trust me. It’s gonna be one hell of a season!

University of Missouri VS University of Arkansas

Better known as the Battle Line Rivalry, this intense football war has been in play for over a century. Tensions between the two states have been high since these neighbors divided the North and South during the Civil War. It’s no surprise that local sentiments branched over into college sports.

While they have played against one another since 1906, the first official Battle Line trophy was awarded in 2015 to the Arkansas Razorbacks. However, Missouri currently leads the overall game series with 10 to 4 wins.

University of Kansas VS Kansas State University

While the idea of a Sunflower Showdown may seem peaceful and relaxing, it is anything but in Kansas. This legendary rivalry is over a hundred years in the making, with the teams first facing off in 1902.

In overall athletic contest series, the most anticipated events are always between the men’s football and basketball teams. Having played against one another 120 times, this is widely considered one of the longest-running rivalries in the country.

Iowa State University VS University of Iowa

Whether it’s football, basketball, or wrestling, the Iowa-Iowa State rivalry holds absolutely nothing back. Every year the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series are events where the two universities compete for points in various sports. This includes volleyball, golf, soccer, and even swimming. However, the coveted Cy-Hawk trophy is awarded to the winner of the annual football faceoff between the two.

While fans are passionate about these deep-seated rivalries, an unbelievable sense of community is felt throughout the series. It brings all everyone together to enjoy something all Iowans love; amazing college sports and, of course, corn.

University of Iowa VS University of Minnesota

Their own in-state team is hardly the only team the University of Iowa has a heart-pounding rivalry against. In fact, one of the Hawkeyes’ most famous feuds is with the University of Minnesota’s Golden Gophers. With a rich and controversial history between the two teams, some of the region’s most outstanding games have been played between the two.

The Floyd of Rosedale is the physical representation of bragging rights between the two schools. While the grand prize was originally a real pig, nowadays, a bronze trophy in the shape of the first robust pig is now awarded to the winner of the annual game.

University of Minnesota VS University of Wisconsin

Officially the longest-running rivalry in the history of Midwest university sports, the Axe Game, also known as the Border Battle, is an annual showdown between the University of Minnesota’s Golden Gophers and the Wisconsin Badgers. This is a feud filled with tradition that began in 1890 with over 130 games between the two teams.

While the original trophy was a “slab” of wood bacon with an M or a W, the teams have competed for Paul Bunyan’s Axe since 1948. With the scores of every game carved into the handle of the axe, it’s no wonder why these two teams play some of their best games in this extraordinary football battle.

University of Nebraska VS Stanford University

One of the only volleyball showdowns on this list, the competition between these two teams is nothing short of fierce. Despite the 1,700 miles that separate them, the rivalry between the University of Nebraska and Stanford University’s Women’s Volleyball teams is absolutely legendary.

Consistently ranked number one and number two in the country, these two teams are often pitted against one another when the wins really count, resulting in a fantastic feud between the fans and the players. While there is no official namesake game between the two teams, any time they come face-to-face, it’s a game worth seeing.

Black Hills State University VS South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

If you live in South Dakota, you know about the Black Hills Brawl. First played in 1895 and 135 times since, this mind-blowing football showdown is a wonder of the ages. These teams, the 4th most played rivalry in the country, have both a rivalry and a camaraderie rarely seen in collegiate sports.

However, when it comes to fighting for the rights to the Homestake Trophy, these teams will demolish one another until only one is left standing.

University of North Dakota VS North Dakota State University

With only 76 miles between these two impressive schools, this in-state rivalry takes things up a notch. The first official game was played in 1894, with 110 games played. It was one of the longest-running series in college sports.

However, between 2004 and 2014, the series was suspended due to the reclassification of North Dakota State University. Luckily, the two athletic departments came to an agreement. In 2015 the Nickel Trophy once again became the goal of both the Fighting Hawks and the Bisons.

Facts: Rivalries in Midwest University Sports Are Lit

College-level sports in the US are totally awesome and loved by loads of fans, just like professional sports. The rivalries between these amazing teams are super intense, especially in Midwest university sports. They’ve got some mind-blowing feuds going on, with players giving outstanding performances that get everyone hyped. Whether you’re on campus or not, midwestern fans go wild! So, remember these epic showdowns and make sure you catch a game this season. It’s gonna be a once-in-a-lifetime experience!


  • Chris Kane

    Chris Kane is a military veteran and former business owner currently living in the Des Moines, Iowa, metro. Chris is an inveterate entrepreneur and avid web developer who is not shy about sharing his opinions.

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