YPSILANTI, MI – Iowa Hawkeye followers have a popularity for being good as heck.

In case you go to Kinnick Stadium in Iowa Metropolis, mentioned Ypsilanti resident and diehard Hawkeye Heather Wendt, hometown followers will share a sandwich, corn and a beer with a beaming smile on their face.

The friendliness is actual, however don’t let that lull you right into a false sense of safety.

When No. 13-ranked Iowa performs No. 2-ranked Michigan for the Massive Ten championship recreation on Saturday, Dec. 4, Ann Arbor-area Iowa followers, comparable to Wendt, will remind you their Hawkeyes reside for upsets.

“Can we knock off these contenders?” she mentioned. “I believe that’s what the modus is.”

Wendt, president of the Iowa Membership of Michigan, mentioned she’s certainly one of about 1,700 Iowa alumni now dwelling in Washtenaw County.

Born in Troy, she’s a Michigander by delivery however a Hawkeye by blood, as her mother and father met on the Iowa Metropolis campus. Mother was born in Grand Rapids, dad was born in Rock Island, Illinois and in some way they met in an enormous freshman “rhetoric” class, much like your typical English writing course.

Whereas going to highschool in Troy, Wendt observed the animosity of the 50-50 cut up of Michigan and Michigan State followers. However, when visiting Iowa for the primary time, “individuals had been simply so good.”

“I even requested my of us, ‘Oh my god, has it at all times been this fashion?’” she mentioned. “They had been like ‘it’s at all times been like this.’ Folks listed below are simply good.”

Wendt picked the College of Iowa for school, graduating within the Nineteen Nineties. She moved again to Michigan to the Ann Arbor space to function her advertising and marketing firm Uproar Communications. The enchantment of Ann Arbor is it gives the identical school city really feel as Iowa Metropolis, she mentioned.

However sporting Iowa gear wherever additionally means individuals assume you know the way to prepare dinner a brisket, she mentioned, and brings invites from fellow Hawkeyes to share cooking and grilling recipes.

Wendt is married to Adam, who’s an all-in Michigan fan for Saturday’s championship recreation. The closeness of the collection fuels a playful rivalry within the Wendt family, she mentioned, even when its not an official rivalry between the 2 colleges.

“We watch the sport in reverse rooms,” she mentioned, when the 2 groups play. “I’ll root for Michigan any time they don’t seem to be taking part in Iowa. Relating to (taking part in) the Hawkeyes this week, it simply turns into rivalry week.”

Since Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz took over the soccer program in 1999, the Hawkeyes have a 7-6 edge over the Wolverines.

The final time a No. 2-ranked Michigan workforce performed Iowa, a type of upsets Wendt talked about occurred, as Iowa kicked a last-second subject objective to triumph 14-13 in Iowa Metropolis.

“With Michigan, the notion is at all times they’re larger, louder, crazier,” Wendt mentioned. “When Iowa can beat someone like that, we thrive on that underdog piece. .Hawkeye followers are like, it doesn’t matter how good or dangerous (the workforce is), they’re at all times simply so eager for moments like last-minute kicks to knock someone off their perch.”

Because the Iowa alumni membership president for Michigan, Wendt helps join Iowans all throughout the state. Meaning soccer recreation watch events in Grand Rapids or Mount Nice, mentoring highschool college students or organizing assist for older alumni with issues so simple as raking leaves.

“On the finish of the day, it’s only a good group of people who find themselves simply attempting to assist other people,” she mentioned.

When Michigan and Iowa face off in Indianapolis Saturday (8 p.m., FOX), Wendt will likely be internet hosting an Iowa watch social gathering — however will depart sufficient room for her husband’s Wolverine contingent.

Her ultimate message earlier than kickoff: “Go Hawks!”

“I’ll positively have my black and gold on all weekend,” she mentioned. “So I’m comfortable to take bets from anyone.”

Learn extra from The Ann Arbor Information:

Iowa names starting quarterback, updates injury situation entering Michigan matchup

In Big Ten championship prep, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz will lose sleep over Michigan’s No. 97

Michigan basks in win over Buckeyes, but knows focus must shift to Iowa

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