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The Cyclones’ fall in the AP Poll might doom CyHawk ‘College Ames Day’, but all is not lost.

The CyHawk matchup won’t be the last opportunity to host Gameday if the Cyclones can take care of business.

NCAA Football: Northern Iowa at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State’s close win wasn’t enough to keep the Cyclones ranked, now slotted at 26 (technically tied for 25th). With Iowa State dropping out of the AP Top 25, their chances of hosting ESPN’s College Gameday are likely eliminated. UNI was one fumble away from beating Iowa State in their home opener, and that was enough for the ‘College Ames Day’ hype to die down a little, which might not be all bad.

Iowa State rarely, if ever, has serious expectations going into a season. Coach Matt Campbell insisted that the hype from outside of the locker room hasn’t had an effect on the team, but they looked far from a top team in the country on Saturday. The Cyclones need to settle into the season, grapple with expectations, and prove they deserve the hype before it’s handed to them.

Since schedules have been released, all Iowans looked to the weak slate in week three, and began to dream a little. An afternoon game in a college town that College Gameday has never visited for football, it seemed too perfect. Plus, both teams could be ranked. Iowa was projected, by some, to win their division, Iowa State was projected to be at or near the top of the Big 12 race.

Then there’s some harsh realities to face as a Cyclone fan. Iowa would get the same amount of attention on gameday as the Cyclones. Sure, the Hawks have been consistently good for a long time, but the Cyclones have been a college football fairy tale the last two seasons. This is about Iowa State. Not the Cy-Hawk rivalry, not about Iowa’s projected first round draft picks, but something Campbell has built here. Also, the celebrity game picker would probably be some Hollywood Hawkeye like Ashton Kutcher, or Tom Arnold (How many college kids even know who Tom Arnold is?)

ESPN would’ve messed this up. The focus would’ve been too much on the TOE, and not enough on this Iowa State program that has risen from the depths of Big 12.

So is a 2019 College Ames Day now cast to the depths of the soon-to-be-forgotten?

Not so fast.

Corso and company could still make a trip to Ames. If Iowa State can rattle off enough wins between now and November 16th, there’s still a chance.

How it could happen: Iowa State gets crazy hot. They start the season 8-1, including an upset over Jalen Hurts and the Oklahoma Sooners to Mark back-to-back wins in Norman. ESPN would essentially have no choice but to come to Ames on a blistering cold November day. The game would have huge Big 12 title game implications, and Ames would be absolutely rocking.

Even if the Cyclones go 7-2 headed into the Texas game, there’s still an outside chance we could nab ESPN’s eye. Especially, IF Texas is *actually* back.

If Iowa State loses to Oklahoma, any other conference slip up prior might be disqualifying for Gameday’s chances.

Missing out on College Gameday is not the end of the world. With the program Iowa State has built here, ESPN will bring its Saturday pageantry at some point, and my guess would be sooner rather than later.

Lee Corso will put on Cy’s head, it just might not happen on September 14th.