The Floyd of Rosedale tradition dates all the way back to 1935, and the Minnesota-Iowa series has proven to be one of the most evenly split rivalries in the game. Through the end of the 2007 season, Minnesota held a 39-32-2 advantage.
OriginsIn 1935, Minnesota was one of the nation's top football powers. The Gophers had won Big Ten championships in 1933 and 1934, and racked up a 5-0 record in 1935 under coach Bernie Bierman. But in their sixth game, they would face their stiffest test: The 4-0-1 Iowa Hawkeyes, coached by Ossie Solem, were good.
Even worse for the Gophers, they were angry. And they were looking for revenge. The season before, the Hawkeyes believed the Gophers set out to injure Iowa star Ozzie Simmons, and in the days leading up to the 1935 game, Iowa governor Clyde Herring went so far as to warn the Gophers not to try any similar tactics in Iowa City—lest they face the wrath of the Iowa faithful.
This led Minnesota Gov. Floyd Olson to respond with a telegram to Herring that read as follows: "Minnesota folks are excited over your statement about Iowa crowds lynching the Minnesota football team. I have assured them you are law abiding gentlemen and are only trying to get our goat. I will bet you a Minnesota prize hog against an Iowa prize hog that Minnesota wins."
Later that week, Bierman's Gophers delivered a 13-6 win, a key victory en route to their third straight Big Ten title. But more than a win, Minnesota also brought home a genuine Iowa hog: An award-winning pig from Rosedale Farms in Iowa. The pig was named after Olson. Hence the name, Floyd of Rosedale.
The real Floyd was only awarded once, however. He died of "hog cholera" a couple years after the 1935 game in the possession of pig breeder J.B. Gjerdrum. It is said Floyd is buried approximately halfway between the campus of Iowa and Minnesota.
He lives on, however, (in bronze) thanks to the statue created by Minnesota artist Charles Brioshchi.