DES MOINES - Iowa Gov. Chet Culver pledged Monday to attend bowl games of both the Iowa and Iowa State football teams after being asked why he sent out a statement congratulating Iowa for their win on Saturday, but not Iowa State.
Both teams notched historic wins over the weekend. The University of Iowa beat Michigan State to earn its first ever 8-0 start while Iowa State defeated Nebraska on the road for the first time since 1977.
Culver acknowledged only Iowa's win Saturday by issuing an official statement congratulating the Hawkeyes.
"I'm a huge Clone fan," Culver insisted when asked about the omission of the Cyclones. "I've put out a lot of statements when they've won earlier in the year, and no one picked those up. But the fact of the matter is, that was a huge win for Iowa State. I compliment Coach (Paul) Rhoads and the staff."
Culver stressed the historic nature of Iowa's win over Michigan State to take the Hawkeyes to an 8-0 record that has never been seen in the 120-year history of the football program.
"That is truly history in the making," Culver said.
Culver, an avid sports fan who played football at Virginia Tech, appeared eager to attend post-season bowl games for both teams, as well as for any post-season play for the University of Northern Iowa.
"When the Clones go to a bowl and Iowa goes, maybe to the national championship game, I will be there for both of them rooting them on," Culver said. "Same is true for UNI, who I expect will also be in the mix coming down the stretch."
Culver praised the coaches at the three Regents universities and said the success of their teams has been positive for the state.
"We're going through some tough times, but it was great that Cyclone fans and Hawkeye fans could celebrate together on Saturday night because they both did make history, and we're proud of both of them," Culver said. "Unfortunately, UNI lost a tough game to South Dakota State, but I know they'll bounce back."
Culver said things might get interesting if his alma mater ends up playing one of the Iowa schools.
"I'd be wearing my Hawk and Clone colors for sure, but I do have a lot of great memories playing football at Virginia Tech," Culver said.