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How Will Realignment Affect Football Scheduling?

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One of the side effects of the new-look Big 12 is how it will affect sports scheduling. For one, Iowa State loses a close scheduling partner in Nebraska for most sports - although it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility to see the Cyclones and Cornhuskers continue to find their way onto each others schedules in sports such as men's basketball, women's basketball, wrestling, volleyball and the like. There's history that has been developed there, as well as a BCS opponent that is a bus ride away instead of a plane ride away. Colorado may be a different story. But how will this affect football?

Iowa State's proactivity in terms of football scheduling may have bitten them in the ass. Iowa State has schedule for four nonconference opponents through 2017, and will need to look at dropping one each year. For all intensive purposes, the Iowa series will continue indefinitely, so we'll need to look at how the scheduling will look going forward.


2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
@ Utah Tulsa No. Iowa No. Dak. St. No. Iowa
Iowa @ Iowa @ Air Force Air Force Iowa
@ UConn W. Ill Iowa @ Iowa @ Toledo
No. Iowa W. Kent. @ Tulsa vs. Toledo San Jose St.

The Iowa game, as mentioned before, is untouchable. Utah will be looking for their return game from this year in 2011, while the date in Storrs, Connecticut is more than likely the return trip from 2002. So, in 2011, the first option would likely be to see if Iowa State can drop UConn. Failing that, UNI is likely the easiest game to get out of. In 2012, ISU has two pay games between Western Illinois and Western Kentucky - look for one of these to be dropped. Western Kentucky will be FBS at this point, though, so the athletics department may look into dropping the Tulsa series. Air Force comes onto the schedule in 2013 and 2014 - a tough Mountain West opponent. While the Academy's campus is one of the most beautiful places in America, the football program has to consider looking at dropping the series. Iowa State has been proud of scheduling all three service academies, but they will have to reconsider at this point. Toledo jumps onto the schedule for 2014 and 2015, and may be an easier drop from the schedule, but is also closer to a win that Air Force.





2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
No. Iowa No. Iowa @ Iowa @ Navy @ Iowa
@ Iowa Iowa N. Ill Iowa UNLV
Kent St. @ San Jose St. Navy @ Kent St
San Jose St. Kent St.

San Jose State joins the Iowa State schedule in 2015, and a two for one deal is set up with a return trip to California in 2017. Again, this series makes sense as the one to be dropped, with dates against Kent State in 2016, 2017 and 2019 remaining.  Starting in 2018, Iowa State is no longer overscheduled, though the series with Navy may be reconsidered as well.

Conference realignment has thrown a wrench into future scheduling and could possibly cost the athletics department some money that they would rather not spend. Future scheduling needs to keep in mind the new look of the Big 12 - becoming bowl eligible will be more difficult, so more possible wins should be scheduled - likely including an FCS opponent and a low FBS opponent sandwiching Iowa. Most ISU fans would like to see more marquee games, like those against the service academies, but getting wins is more important.

How would you like to see Iowa State adjust scheduling?