It's four in a row and counting for the Iowa State football team over its hated instate rival to the east, and they're a little uneasy over in Iowa City.
I spoke with someone who follows instate recruiting closely – and he will remain nameless because he is a card-carrying member of the Hawkeye fan club – who thinks Dan McCarney may end up taking as many as 11 native sons in the class of 2003.
Already the Cyclones have commitments from seven instate preps. Nonetheless, my "contact" that follows instate recruiting closely was lukewarm about the level of interest the Iowa staff had in any of these future Cyclones.
"It's amazing Iowa State has managed to beat you four years in a row without any players Iowa wanted," I thought about saying. But I decided discretion is the better form of valor.
We questioned Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz today about where he thinks the rivalry stands and how important it is for his program to get the monkey off its back.
"The credit goes to Iowa State," said Ferentz, who for my money is one of the classier individuals you'll find on either side of the great divide. "They've done it four straight and last year was my third in a row I've had to experience. I was here in '82 when we suffered our third straight loss to them too. It would be wonderful if we could get another streak going like we did after that.
"But I'd settle for just one win right now."
And what about the perceived head start the Cyclones have on instate recruiting for the class of 2003? How interested were the Hawkeyes in any of the seven Iowans pledged to McCarney thus far?
"I don't want to get into specifics but let's just say I'm really comfortably where we stand right now in recruiting," Ferentz said. "But the way the series goes certainly does factor into recruiting and the players' minds. It's definitely important from that standpoint."