What is Floyd of Rosedale? The History behind the Iowa-Minnesota Football Rivalry's Pig Trophy
The Iowa-Minnesota football rivalry features the Floyd of Rosedale trophy, a giant bronze pig that goes to the winner.
In the Big Ten, there exists a rich tapestry of historic football rivalries, each with its own distinctive and memorable trophy. These trophies symbolize the intensity and passion that fuel these long-standing competitions. Among these trophies, one stands out as particularly unique and intriguing: Floyd of Rosedale, awarded to the winner of the Iowa-Minnesota football rivalry.
The trophy itself is unmistakable—a giant bronze pig that pays homage to its namesake, Floyd. As the No. 23 Hawkeyes and Golden Gophers prepare to face off in their 117th all-time meeting, it's worth delving into the captivating story behind one of college football's most charming, recognizable, and peculiar trophies.
The rivalry between Iowa and Minnesota dates back to 1891, with 27 previous meetings before the 1934 game that forever changed the nature of the competition. In that match, the Golden Gophers emerged victorious with a resounding 48-12 win. However, it was marred by an incident involving Ozzie Simmons, the Hawkeyes' star running back who was Black. Simmons was knocked unconscious three times and had to leave the game in the second quarter. It was alleged that a Minnesota player deliberately targeted Simmons, leading to a charged atmosphere and accusations of dirty play.
The following season, tensions were high as the two teams prepared to face each other again. Iowa Gov. Clyde Herring, still incensed by the previous year's events, expressed his concerns about potential rough play. In response, Minnesota Gov. Floyd B. Olson sent a light-hearted telegram to Herring, proposing a bet to defuse the tension. The bet involved a prize hog from each state, with the loser having to personally deliver their hog to the winner.
Olson's gamble paid off, as the game proceeded without any major altercations, and Minnesota emerged victorious once again. As the winner of the bet, Olson received a black Hampshire boar from Rosedale Farms in Iowa, which he named Floyd in his own honor.
However, as live pigs were no longer a viable option for future bets, Olson commissioned an artist named Charles Brioschi to create a trophy in the likeness of Floyd. Brioschi crafted a 98-pound bronze sculpture of a 15 1/2-inch-tall, 21-inch-long pig, which became the Floyd of Rosedale trophy.
Since its creation, the Hawkeyes and Golden Gophers have competed annually for Floyd of Rosedale. The winner of each game gets to keep the trophy until the following year's matchup. This tradition has made Floyd of Rosedale one of the oldest trophies in college football, symbolizing the enduring rivalry between these two teams.
In terms of the overall series record, the Golden Gophers currently hold the edge with a 62-52-2 record against the Hawkeyes. However, Iowa has been dominant in recent years, winning the past eight matchups between the two teams. Their most recent victory, a hard-fought 13-10 win in 2022, ensured that Floyd of Rosedale remained in Iowa City for another year. Since 2001, the Hawkeyes have emerged victorious in 18 of the past 22 contests.
As the No. 23 Hawkeyes and Golden Gophers prepare to renew their rivalry at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, the significance of Floyd of Rosedale looms large. It serves as a reminder of the rich history, intense competition, and unique traditions that make college football so captivating.