80's Poll: Watch It Again Results

The results of our first ‘Watch It Again for the First Time’ poll are in, from the decade of the 1980’s.

The 1985 #1 Iowa vs #2 Michigan game ran away with this poll, which is not a surprise. It received 549 votes with 766 voters weighing in. For many fans, it remains one of the greatest days in Hawkeye sports history. It’s certainly one of the pinnacle moments in Hawkeye football history.

The battle for second place was much more contested with Iowa’s win at Ohio State in 1987 beating the 1987 last second shot by Kevin Gamble to beat Oklahoma in the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament by one vote, 86 to 85.

The win at Ohio State was historic. It was the first time Iowa had won at The Shoe since 1959 and just Iowa’s fifth win against Ohio State since 1959. The fact that it came on a miraculous play on a 4th and 23 from the OSU 28 in the waning seconds adds to its shine. Chuck Hartlieb found Marv Cook on the sideline and Cook went 15 or so yards into the endzone carrying Bo Pelini on his back, scoring the go ahead touchdown with under seven seconds remaining.

The game was not televised in Eastern Iowa and many people listened to that game on the radio. I would guess a lot of people have still never seen that game on television.

  • Hawk456789

    Well, I think you have to go with the 1985 #1 v. #2 game at Kinnick against Michigan. I suppose the second selection is more debatable. However, for me the second selection was easy. Of all the Iowa athletic events in the 1980s, my greatest elation was provided by the 1981 season opening game versus Nebraska. At that point Iowa had endured 20 losing seasons, and no one really expected 1980 to be any different. Nebraska had to have been favored by about 35 that Saturday. This wasn’t Rocky Balboa winning his first fight. This was like Rocky’s 120 pound cousin defeating Apollo Creed in a 12 round decision. Sitting in the stands, I remember thinking after the first quarter that folks around the country seeing the score might be impressed that Iowa hung tough with Nebraska for a quarter. Then thinking the same thing at half, never thinking in a million years that we might actually win. That might have been the only game I have ever seen where there was little doubt that the punter was clearly the most valuable player. Reggie Roby’s skyrocketing punt after skyrocketing punt carried the day along with the gritty Iowa defense.

    All the other games listed were great games, but none was a thunderbolt out of a completely blue sky like the Iowa – Nebraska game of 1981.

    • Jeffbuck7

      I had the #1 vs. #2 game first, but this game was huge for the reasons Hawk456789 states. The week leading up to this, I was in my hometown (Boone) about to debark for a year overseas. I went to a doctor for a checkup, a man I’d known my whole life, a very optimistic cheery type of man. He was going on about how Iowa really had a chance this weekend against Nebraska, so get fired up, etc. I told him that was going to be really hard for me. I was born in 1951 and my experience and memory consisted of the very last year or two of Evy and tweny years of unbroken disappointment, heartbreak and misery. But then the Hawks beat Nebraska. It was the gateway to a thirty-year run of success — from pinnacles like Michigan in ’85, Ohio State in ’87, the Brad Banks year, the Heart Attack Hawkeyes of ’09, and barely a losing season to be found. And you can say it all started with Iowa 10, Nebraska 7. Good point, Hawk456789.   

  • S Joint

    GO HAWKS!!   ….FU>> nebraska !!!…I fully agree with you both. That was one of the best days of my life (outside the birth of my children ) That whole season was epic and changed Iowa football forever. Im sure we will be hearing from the peanut section that says Iowa has no tradition,…which we know is complete bullshit. GO HAWKS !! 

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