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Trying To Establish National Relevance, Iowa Inks Big 12 Foe to Future Non-Conference Schedules

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Will play Iowa State University in 2022 and 2023.

Oklahoma v Iowa State Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

In an effort to appease Colin Cowherd and other national critics, University of Iowa officials have agreed to bolster future non-conference schedules by adding a Big 12 opponent in the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

Iowa has announced that they have agreed to play Iowa State University in both the 2022 and 2023 seasons. This addition will guarantee Iowa has a Power 5 opponent on their non-conference slate in each season. In what appears to be a developing trend, Iowa also recently strengthened their non-conference slate by adding Division I powerhouse Middle Tennessee State.

The Hawkeyes have struggled to earn national credibility in recent years due to their lackluster schedule. The Big Ten did them no favors when they left perennial powers such as Ohio State and Michigan off Iowa’s schedules 4 out of every 6 years, forcing the Hawks to play schools such as Purdue and Illinois annually.

In scheduling Iowa State, Iowa will guarantee themselves a tenth Power 5 opponent in the 2022 and 2023 seasons. The Cyclones should beef up a schedule that includes conference foes Maryland, Illinois, Purdue and Rutgers — all teams Iowa State is currently ranked above in the 2017 Sagarin ratings.

As far as the bottom line is concerned, Iowa officials should be happy as this means Iowa will have a seventh home game in 2022. Recently, writers had indicated Iowa was forced to pay schools such as North Dakota State large sums of money for a win loss just to earn the extra revenue from a seventh home game.

An added benefit to scheduling an in-state opponent is state legislators will (hopefully) not have to spend any time writing legislation in response to marching band bullying.

Iowa has had incredible success in the Big Ten in recent seasons, but out-of-conference foes have given them fits. Recent games against Stanford, Florida and Tennessee have seen the Hawkeyes come out on the wrong end, with a 120-47 combined scoring margin in favor of Iowa’s opponents.

While Kirk Ferentz and company should be commended for beefing up their schedule, they may want to be careful what they wish for.