The Iowa State Cyclones and Iowa Hawkeyes have a long rivalry that annually decides the winner of the Cy-Hawk Trophy. With the ever-changing landscape of college football conference realignment and scheduling changes, however, it is becoming more and more difficult to maintain the traditional matchups as conference obligations become more and more strenuous. Will an expanded conference schedule force an end to the Iowa State – Iowa rivalry?
Not in the near future at least. Iowa State and Iowa have a contract that runs through 2017, though each has an exit clause in case their conference schedule expands. For the Big Ten, that will be the case in 2016 as the conference expands to a nine-game conference slate, and putting a strain on teams who have to cut down there non-conference schedule from four games to just three.
During the seasons that Iowa is scheduled to play five non-conference road games, they could run into scheduling conflicts if they are supposed to travel to Ames to take on Iowa State. For the Hawkeyes to be fiscally successful, according to the school, Iowa has to play seven home games during the season. That would mean on years that the Hawkeyes only got four home games in conference play, they would have to play all their non-conference games at Kinnick Stadium.
It will take some major collaboration between the Big Ten and Big 12. Iowa State already has a nine-game conference obligation and would also likely enjoy having a seven game home slate. When they have to play on the road five times in conference play, they would also have to play their three non-conference games at home. That would mean that the years Iowa plays five conference games on the road, Iowa State would have to only play four road conference games.
That might be a bit more collaboration than the two conferences may be used to. To protect the rivalry, there would either need to be groundbreaking levels of communication or one of the two sides would have to compromise on their home schedule. Can the Cy-Hawk rivalry be protected?