Today, the Big 12 released a list of football opponents for each school for the next four seasons. Obviously, no dates or times, or even the order the games will be played in have been determined, but we can at least see what the schedule will look like.
- Big 12 opponents are set.— Iowa State Football (@CycloneFB) November 1, 2023
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Next season, Iowa State will play Houston and UCF for the first time, and will also head to Salt Lake City to play Utah in their first season in the Big 12. Otherwise, we see lots of familiar faces, including the return of the Riot Bowl in Morgantown and Kansas State at home. Notably, Iowa State will not be playing Oklahoma State, which has been a fierce rival of Iowa State’s for the last decade. I’d argue since we’ve been in the same conference forever, but who cares about Iowa State traditions!
Given the current status of the programs on this schedule, as well as the generally trajectory of Iowa State, 2024 potentially sets up for a big season in Ames, as a large portion of the schedule is made up of 2023’s bottom-feeders (at least at this point in the season).
Things get really fun when Iowa State welcomes all of one (1) historical conference foe to Jack Trice. Besides being a year where Iowa State only has four conference home games, Iowa State faithful welcome in three of the newbies to Ames in Arizona, Arizona State, and BYU. While not the games we traditionally want to see in Ames, if the Arizona schools can stay on an upward trajectory, they could be some spicy games.
The Cyclones will hit the road to see Deion in Boulder (maybe??), Fort Worth, Stillwater after a pointless one-year hiatus, the Little Apple for the last time in the foreseeable future, and Cincinnati.
The away schedule, currently, looks fairly uninteresting, as 50% of it is trips to Waco and Orlando. I’m sure Tucson is nice, but there’s just no way to spin a trip to Waco as something to look forward to. We’ll find out next week what the trip to Provo looks like, but as of right now none of these four opponents really qualify as a marquee game.
Despite the dismal road slate, the conference home schedule is far more interesting and entertaining. We’ve got the return of the Riot Bowl to Ames, and dates with Cincinnati and Utah at home as well. Fortunately, I don’t think(?) Matt Asiata, Shaky Smithson, and Eddie Wide have any eligibility left. And hey, look at that! Both Oklahoma State and Kansas State are on the schedule, as it should be. This is easily the best home schedule for the next four years, and Cyclone fans should celebrate that.
Well we made it all the way in the future in 2027 and it fucking sucks. Back to four home conference games and this time we got zero (0) historical conference foes coming to Ames. You might want to say Colorado is a historical conference foe and I'd tell you that they lost that privilege when they went to flounder out west for a while. Otherwise, Iowa State brings in TCU, Houston and UCF (insert fart noise here).
This is where one would say, “But look on the bright side...” I am not going to say that. Brother Yormark decided playing UCF the same number of times in four years as Kansas State and Oklahoma State was a good idea. I can assure you, reader, it is not.
Go on the road to Arizona State (would be a fun party tbh), Texas Tech, Oklahoma State (welcome back!), Kansas, and West Virginia. First off, going on the road to three (3) historical conference rivals while getting none at home is ass. Second and more importantly, they KILLED FARMAGEDDON. Ya know, that one game? The longest consecutive series of college football played in the country? Seriously.
Look, if you didn't want to give KSU two whole protected rivalries, then fine, sure. It was certainly a choice to not do four-team pods, but let’s just forget that for a moment. Oklahoma State should at the very least be the consolation prize if we can't continue Farmageddon. They rather Iowa State mix it with UCF or Arizona State a couple extra times.
We were all ready and willing for conference expansion when it came and knew there would be some downside. Somehow we got the wool pulled over our eyes and they let us lose rivalries we were convinced would be continued. Either we are stupid or the new Big 12 thinks we are.