I consider KSU a rival. As peer institutions in so many ways it has always been fairly amicable, but I'll be damned if KSU vampiring us nearly every year doesn't get under my skin. This is the Big 12 game I want to win most next year. Both programs are trying to fill the same niche as the northern-style culture program of the Big 12. Both fanbases are really similar, and for me that's annoying the same way that people with similar personalities can clash. It's like looking in a mirror, but the image in the mirror has won 11 of the last 12. And from what I can tell a portion of KSU's fanbase feels rather threatened by Campbell and jealous of the attention him and ISU have received, and that has served to spice things up. KSU fans think they're program is naturally superior to ours because of the last 30 years, while ISU fans think that we're just waiting for our own Snyder (while still being better than KSU pre-Snyder). TL;DR it's definitely more of rivalry than the "Hero's Game," which is only remotely a thing because Nebraska ran away from their family like a misunderstood teen turned vagabond.