Iowa vs. Iowa StateThe end is near...well maybe, maybe not. I've written on this subject before, but it was back when it looked like Iowa State would be shipped off to the MAC or MWC as it seemed very unlikely Iowa would want to keep playing a non-BCS conference team in an annual rivalry game. The main problem would be playing a road game every other year against a MAC team.
Jump forward. Iowa State is semi-securely set in the Big XII, but the annual rivalry face another problem: the 9-game conference schedule. The Big XII will soon have just 10 teams and will be moving to a PAC-10 style 9-game round robin conference schedule. The Big Ten is also talking about moving to a 9-game schedule within the next 3 to 4 years. Jim Delany said at the Big Ten Media Days a couple of weeks ago that "conferences are about playing each other more, not less."
While 9 conference games is fine and dandy, it means only 3 non-conference games and guarantees that every other a team has at least 5 road games. The problem is then, how do you fit in the Iowa-Iowa State game? Ideally, neither team would want to play on the road in a year where 5 road games are already built into its schedule, but unless the Big XII and Big Ten work together on that, there's a 50% chance that both teams will have the 5-road game years concurrently. The other issue is that teams these days like to "buy" wins with home games against some easier competition. Iowa's typical non-conference schedule has been 2 creampuffs, ISU, and 1 BCS conference team. If you had to take one of those away, which would it be? If you decide to keep Iowa State, that basically means the end to games like Iowa-Arizona or Iowa-Pitt. But I guess that is an acceptable trade off.
There are thousands of more words that could and probably will be written on this topic. But what I ultimately think will happen is that the game will go on and just will not be played annually. Something like play once every 3 years, or play 2 years take 2 off could work. As much as some people hate the game, I think more like it and that it's good for the state of Iowa and the two schools.