Farmageddon: An Underrated History

Farmageddon: An Underrated History

There are quite a few well-known rivalry games in the Big 12.  From “Bedlam,” (Oklahoma versus Oklahoma State), to “The Red River Rivalry,” (Oklahoma versus Texas), to “The Sunflower Showdown,” (Kansas versus Kansas State), and “The Revivalry,” (TCU versus Baylor).  Sometime around 2009, Kansas State and Iowa State coined their rivalry game “Farmageddon” because of the agriculture background of the two land grant universities.

Where did the “Farmageddon” moniker come from?  From what I can tell, it happened around the time that the programs scheduled two neutral-site games at Arrowhead Stadium in 2009 and 2010.  I remember seeing the first reference to “Farmageddon” on a message board before the teams played in 2009.  I was never really a fan of the name, but it stuck with a group of fans.  The media caught on and soon the yearly match-up between Iowa State and Kansas State became known as “Farmageddon.”

The two Big 12 rivals have played every year since 1917, making this series the eighth-longest continuous series in college football history and the longest never-interrupted series in college football history.  These two teams have played through the 1918 flu pandemic and World War 2, which interrupted quite a few other historical series.

The won/loss records in the series are very close.  Iowa State has won 50 games and Kansas State has won 49 games.  There have been four ties.  Since Bill Snyder arrived in Manhattan in 1989, K-State holds a 25-6 record in the series.  Iowa State fans are likely glad Bill Snyder is retired.

What I remember most about this series recently are the weird things that have happened during many of the games.  Close games make for lots of drama, with five of the last six games decided by five or fewer points.  The ball has bounced K-State’s way lately, with the Wildcats winning 11 of the last 12 meetings.

On October 3rd, 2009, in Kansas City, the first “Farmageddon” game, Iowa State scored a touchdown with a little over a minute left to pull within a point of Kansas State.  Kansas State’s Emmanuel Lamur blocked the extra point to seal the victory for K-State.  This was the first in a long line of close games and strange occurrences.

On November 21, 2015, in Manhattan, Iowa State led 35-21 at halftime and led 35-28 with a little more than a minute left in the game.  The Cyclones had the ball with a first down and all they had to do was run the ball a few times to run out the clock and wrap up the victory.  My Dad, my son, and I were at the game.  We started walking up the stairs to leave when we heard a roar from the crowd.  I turned around, looked at the field, and realized Iowa State fumbled and K-State recovered with 1:31 left.  We scrambled to find three empty seats to watch the remainder of the game.  K-State marched down the field and scored a touchdown to tie it up.  On Iowa State’s possession following the kickoff, K-State sacked the quarterback on second down, forcing a fumble that was recovered by the Wildcats.  This put K-State in a position to kick a game-winning field goal as time expired in what was an unbelievable come from behind victory that was the impetus to Paul Rhoades getting fired as Iowa State coach the very next day.

On November 25th, 2017, in Manhattan, Iowa State led 19-7 in the 4th quarter.  K-State scored a touchdown with about six minutes left in the game to pull within five points at 19-14.  Iowa State got the ball back and was moving the ball methodically down the field.  The guys I was at the game with wanted to leave, as an Iowa State victory looked inevitable.  We walked outside the stadium and there was an RV parked outside with the game on their television.  We watched as K-State broke up an Iowa State pass on 3rd down and Iowa State was forced to punt back to K-State with a couple of minutes left.  I sprinted back in the stadium and found a spot in the student section just in time to watch Skylar Thompson lead a game-winning drive in which K-State scored a touchdown on the last play of the game to win 20-19.

On November 24th, 2018, in Ames, Iowa State was down 38-21 to Kansas State before rallying to score three straight touchdowns and win 42-38. It was not typical for a Bill Snyder Wildcat team to lose this way and he was kind of stumped after the game, saying “I’ve never lost a ballgame that way. I’ll have to dissect it. I can’t tell you what my feelings are right now.”  Matt Campbell, on the other hand, was very complimentary of his team, saying “This team has never disappointed me.  We’re not flashy. We’re not pretty. But you better not count us out.”  This was Bill Snyder’s last game coached at Kansas State.

Expect another close game on Saturday.  That is assuming it gets played.  K-State is having some Covid issues right now on their roster and may not get to the minimum number of players required at all positions to be eligible to play. Iowa State is favored by 11, but you can throw the point spread out the farmhouse window when it comes to this series.  Farmageddon 2020 has arrived.

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