Florida football is looking to level up its non-conference scheduling, and add to future slates that already feature games with Miami, Colorado, Utah, and Texas. It doesn’t sound like we’re going to be adding Iowa State to that list anytime soon.
Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin put out a public call for teams from the other four Power Five conferences to schedule home-and-homes with the Gators. This is a rare move, given that Florida hasn’t played one of those games out of the state since 1991.
A few ADs have responded to the interesting public challenge from Stricklin. Among them: Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard.
He jumped in to levy a pretty common criticism of the SEC’s eight-game conference schedule. As of now, the ACC and SEC are the only Power Five leagues to hold on to an eight game league slate, though the leagues have mandated at least one non-conference game against another Power Five team.
Florida, of course, fills that spot with an annual series with Florida State, which is currently on the books through 2037, but expected to last in perpetuity.
Pollard flexed a bit here, because on top of nine Big 12 games every year, the Cyclones have a tough rivalry game with the Iowa Hawkeyes.
— Jamie Pollard (@IASTATEAD) October 23, 2019
Ultimately, I don’t know that Iowa State wants to compare schedules with a team that has already played Auburn and LSU this year, and has an annual game with Georgia, especially with Kansas on the slate annually.
I certainly support Florida, and other teams of that ilk, looking to get us more interesting home-and-home games. We’ve seen a number of schools, including Alabama, Georgia, and Texas, go on scheduling sprees with other powers to give us matchups that we rarely see, that is much better for the fans than the neutral site games we’ve had for years, and extra games against overmatched Sun Belt foes.
Florida and Iowa State have never faced off on the football field.