All of this has happened before and will happen again.

The last time Iowa and Iowa State met, a wise man (some would use a different three-letter word there) asked, “Is this the biggest Cy-Hawk game yet?

See if this sounds familiar:

“Iowa vs. Iowa State. College GameDay in the house. Cy-Hawk Trophy on the line. Both teams ranked… in the preseason. Then that other Iowa football team put a scare in the Cyclones in their opener … “

2019 or 2021? It’s both.

2019 was the biggest Cy-Hawk Trophy game. Until now.

Somehow, the palpable hype returned. And it’s bigger and better than ever.

The Hawkeyes won that epic game 18-17 two years ago after 2 rain delays. The ending is immortalized in GIF form. The trophy celebration, too.

That was the fifth time in a row the Hawks got to do that.

Iowa leads the trophy games against ISU 29-14 and the overall series 45-22 but comes into this game an underdog. You see, I’m told this year is “different” for Iowa State. It’s a Playoff team, even.

Is now a good time to mention one of last year’s preseason Top 10 teams lost its first 5 games? If your instinct is to respond, “That’s 2020,” then you already know why I’m not buying the Cyclones yet, especially when their last 2 regular season non-conference games were a 31-14 Louisiana loss and last week’s 16-10 win over FCS Northern Iowa, which also took them to 3OT in 2019. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Speaking of teams that came up short of the College Football Playoff … since the brutal end of the 2015 season, Iowa is a surprising 3-4 against Top 10 teams. That’s impressive even if you aren’t a true believer in Kinnick After Dark magic. All 4 of those losses came to either Penn State or Wisconsin, neither of which will be in Ames this weekend.

Maybe a little of that focus on the trophy games rubbed off on the biggest games. If you can admit some games are unequal, then they all can be. The overachievement is undeniable (with the Badgers being the exception in both), even if Iowa is often underrated.

In 2020, the Hawkeyes played no ranked teams at all, let alone a top 10. Their last Top 10 win was against an undefeated eighth-ranked Minnesota team, 23-19 at Kinnick.

While last week’s win over No. 17 Indiana echoed the 55-24 win over No. 3 Ohio State in that once it turned, the outcome seemed destined despite the perceived level of difficulty pregame, this game has the potential to be a lot more like the 14-13 win over No. 2 Michigan in 2016. Keep it sticky and all that.

You never know with the Hawkeyes and Cyclones. It could be 9-6 or 44-41 — twice!

After all, 15 of Iowa’s 22 games against Iowa State under Kirk Ferentz have been decided by 12 points or less. Saturday he gets a chance to even his record against Top 10 teams since the last time Iowa was one, and improve his overall record to 11-22 in that scenario.

Will this one live up to hype?

No one is immune.

Check that. Maybe one man is:

There you have it: ““It happens every other year.”

All of this has happened before and will happen again.