Straight forward question, and I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this. ISU is moving to a 9 game conference schedule in the next couple of years. The way I see it, ISU either commits to a 13 game schedule (and needing an exemption from the NCAA), or they leave it at 12, and reduce their non-conference games by 1 per year. I'd assume we'd stay at 12 games.
In the past, I've felt like ISU needed the Iowa game, because they needed to prove that the program is going in the right direction, and that they are legit. A similar comparison is when UNI plays Iowa or Iowa State. They're out to prove that they aren't just a good FCS team, but they're a good team, period. To me, I think if we are respectible in Big 12 play, that's going to be the proof needed to be legit, as opposed to beating an in-state rival, but only winning 1 or 2 conference games.
Personally, I'm torn as for what we should do. I like the Iowa game, and I generally like games in which we play against BCS teams. Iowa is having a good run, similar to 2002 and 2003, but these things happen in cycles. They aren't going to be highly rated year-in and year-out (in my opinion, although Hawk fans think they will). Iowa will have rebuilding years; they simply don't have the recruits to just reload the way that some programs are able to do. Having Utah, UConn, etc., on the schedule gets me excited, even if those games are tough. I don't get fired up for Toledo, Kent State, or teams like that to be honest. At the same time, however, we'll have two of the biggest names in college football (Texas and Oklahoma) on the schedule every year, and having the hardest schedule in college football hurts ISU. There needs to be a balance.
As far as what we actually do, I would guess ISU tries to keep the series. It will result in a harder schedule, but the facts are that ISU fans (especially casual fans) like series, ISU makes good money off of it (we get more when we play at Kinnick than Iowa gets when playing at Jack Trice), and Hyvee does throw some dollars at sponsoring the series in all the sports. Just seems like the kind of business formula to keep it going if possible. If the Big 10 went to 9 conference games instead of 8, however, I could see a stronger push from Iowa to try and end this.
For Pollard, it's a tough balance. You want to keep your customers happy as they drive the revenue, but you also want to put your employee (Paul Rhoads) in a situation where they can have the most success, so you can retain that employee.
I've seen mixed thoughts on messageboards about what people think about the future of the Iowa-Iowa State game. Do you think ISU should consider ending this series, or would you like to see it continue, knowing the conference schedule is that much harder? Would you be mad/upset if the series ended?