Cyclone Roundup: How about swapping Toledo for Illinois?

On Tuesday afternoon, the Des Moines Register published a story featuring quotes from Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas regarding non-conference football scheduling in the future. In short, the Big Ten, like most conferences, is wanting to beef things up – mainly to keep television networks happy. 

In the piece, Thomas was asked about the potential of a series with Iowa State. 

"That would be someone who would make a lot of sense for us," Thomas told the Register

Thomas went on to mention that he had not been in contact with anybody at Iowa State. 

Now on the surface, scheduling a series like this makes little to no sense at all for an Iowa State program that already plays Iowa every September – in addition to a grueling nine-game round-robin Big 12 slate. 

With one of three non-conference games already being against a BCS opponent, Iowa State’s scheduling goals should be two home games and wins in addition to the Hawkeyes. However, that really isn’t the case as it stands. Just look at 2014 through 2017. 


North Dakota State
at Iowa


Northern Iowa
at Toledo 


Northern Iowa
at Iowa
San Jose State


Northern Iowa
at San Jose State

If you look beyond that, you’ll find a home and home with Akron (the mighty Zips) in 2018 and 2019. 

Now I understand that there are scheduling issues that I probably don’t understand. Jamie Pollard’s job is not an easy one. Iowa State hosting Toledo and San Jose State make sense. But if you have to travel to those places, any BCS program is essentially walking into a hornet’s nest.

Big 12 schools traveling to those places is a lose-lose situation. Win and you’re supposed to. Lose and you just lost to a non-BCS opponent.  

So if Illinois wants to play some ball, why not buy out one of those schools and replace it with Illinois?

(NOTE that I am fully aware that it isn’t that easy. But it is an idea.)

It is a lower-level Big Ten program that is 1) more interesting and 2) based off of recent history, a program that Iowa State can very realistically beat. 

Just thinking out loud…

Onto links…


*** There are all sorts of moving parts right now when it comes to the Big 12’s bowl relationships. It looks like the league is swapping California for Florida, write Chuck Carlton. — Dallas Morning News

*** Bill Self got exactly what he needed in the top-ranked recruit in America, writes Sam Mellinger. Kansas City Star

*** A former Cowboy is NOT a fan of Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford. —

*** My updated Big 12 basketball predictions for 2013-14. — Cyclone Fanatic 

*** Iowa State will host Auburn in inaugural Big 12/SEC Challenge next December. — Cyclone Fanatic 

*** Andrew Wiggins wasn’t the only recruit that Kansas landed yesterday. Charlie Weis and the football program got a solid commitment as well.— 

*** Ivan Maisel gives props to Bob Stoops for speaking his mind. 

*** West Virginia has a quarterback controversy brewing. West Virginia Illustrated 

*** Holy misleading headlines! — Des Moines Register