"SO WHEN YOU'RE AROUND ANOTHER FAN BASE THAT HASN'T EXPERIENCED THOSE THINGS........"
Robert, I have one nitpick this week. I'm afraid you've fallen into the "recency trap" like so many others. Not every reader is under age 40, just like not every member of the Iowa fan base is under age 40. More than likely, over 1/2 of the Hawkeye fan base and over 1/2 of your readers grew up with Iowa football having a nearly identical football program as Illinois. (I just checked, and per census stats, ~50% of the US population is indeed over age 40).
BRIEF HISTORY LESSON:
1961-1980: Iowa was 62-138-5 for a winning percentage of 31%; with 0 Big10 titles 1961-1980: Illinois was 72-129-6 for a winning percentage of 36%; with 1 Big10 title
1981-1995: Iowa was 115-60-6 for a winning percentage of 66%; with 3 Big 10 titles 1981-1995: Illinois was 97-72-5 for winning percentage of 57%; with 2 Big 10 titles
Cumulatively, Iowa went 177-198 over this 35 year period and won 47% of their games Cumulatively, Illinois went 169-201 over this same period and won 46% of their games
Iowa's rise began in 1979 with the hiring of Hayden Fry, just like ours began one year later with the hiring of Mike White. We then proceeded to have similar success for the next 15 years.
Given the Illini have been playing football for ~133 years, the stark difference in the two programs is a relatively recent thing. Other than for those football fans in their 20's, most everyone knows an Iowa program that has resembled that of Illinois, with each school claiming 5 National titles.......but none after 1960.
Admittedly, Iowa has been superior in the years since you left school in the 90's. But that's just ONE generation of college football fandom that views Iowa as "always" being a Tier 2 national power. 80% of those same fans probably view Nebraska as a perennial doormat. In the grand scheme of things, however, we know differently.