With the Big 1o changing up everything lately from their scheduling to conference realignment, lost in the shuffle may be the fact that longtime state rivals, the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Iowa State Cyclones may have to put a halt on playing every season. Much like conference realignment has put a kibosh on other big rivalry games, Texas–Texas A&M in particular, the new scheduling for the Big 1o may end up doing the same.
The conference wants to move from an eight-game schedule to either a nine or 10-game setup. With the way the schedule would work out, the Hawkeyes wouldn’t be able to travel to Ames every other year, or be able to host the Cyclones. The Hawkeyes reportedly make a little under three million a season on home games, so changing their schedule (if they move from the eight-game) to favor going on the road to play the Cyclones instead of playing an in-conference opponent at home seems unlikely.
Iowa athletic director, Gary Barta, did say that he thinks the rivalry is good for the game of football and he’d like it to continue. But when Big 1o commish Jim Delany wants something his way, he gets it. So, if he has any say in if they play or not, that’s what will happen.
The first time these two teams played was in 1894. The infamous Cy-Hawk trophy was introduced in 1977, which also happens to be the first time these two teams met since 1934. They have played every year since the induction of the trophy.
The Big 12 has a nine-game schedule setup, obviously because the Big 12 only has ten teams, so it has to. But the Cyclones have made sure that they were able to have the Hawkeyes on the schedule.
The rivalry will survive when it comes to other sports, but when looking at the big picture for football, the outlook doesn’t look so good.