Put your boxing gloves on, cuz here comes fighting words: Iowa is better than Iowa State! Don't like that, how about this: Iowa State is way better! There, we're even. But in reality, which college has more fans of its athletics programs? I am ginning to find out.

For this, we need to leave records, Bowl games, March Madness appearances, etc. out. Throw all accomplishments away for this, and just focus on straight fans which school has more? I'll tell you using one very simple, very modern metric.

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By the numbers: UI vs. ISU on socials

First off, let's all be friends. We're all from Iowa... fans of Iowa colleges... no? Okay, I tried. For me personally, I didn't attend either college - I got a two-year degree at a school in Minnesota that's now out of business. So, I have no dog in this fight. Just want to make sure that's out there in case you're wondering. Though, as you'll see, all my numbers are accurate and you can double-check 'em if you want.

To get an answer to which school has more fans, I did not use a biased site like Hawleye Report where one author said Iowa's fans outnumber Iowa State fans 75% Hawkeyes and 15% Cyclones with 10% for "other" like, say, UNI perhaps. Instead, I'm going with something strictly 2022: internet numbers. I'll use social media.

Let's do this, let's review social media to see which schools athletics have more followers - note these are the verified (except for one that is noted below) university accounts and not fan pages.

  • Facebook followers
    Iowa: 531,695
    ISU: 159,157
    WINNER: Iowa 
  • Instagram followers
    Iowa: 100,045
    ISU: 75,179
    WINNER: Iowa

  • Twitter followers
    Iowa: 276,338
    ISU: 122,712
    WINNER: Iowa

  • TikTok followers (TikTok does not give an exact total)
    Iowa: 24.3K *NOT VERIFIED* 
    ISU: 94.5K

Okay so, three straight for Iowa and then one, glaring win for Iowa State on Tik Tok. Again, these are the overall athletics accounts and not sport-specific, i.e. football, basketball. But fear not, I have those totals too.

A quick assessment of both the football and basketball (men and women) accounts show the following with all numbers combined for Facebook, Insta and Twitter (no Tik Tok this time):

  • Facebook followers
    Iowa: 192,971
    ISU: 210,321
    WINNER: Iowa State
  • Instagram followers
    Iowa: 271,600
    ISU: 123,500
    WINNER: Iowa
  • Twitter followers
    Iowa: 467,700
    ISU: 464,100
    WINNER: Iowa

This one is clearly more split with ISU edging Iowa on Facebook, largely thanks to men's basketball. Buuut, then there's that bloodletting on Instagram. For football alone, the Hawkeyes have more than twice as many followers.

For a verdict, the University of Iowa and subsequently the Hawkeye win. With a total amount of followers in my study of 1,864,649 vs. Iowa State's 1,249,469.

Once more, your winner...

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