Saturday’s full slate of college football had a number of games postponed due to weather concerns. Iowa State was among the schools having to scrap their regularly scheduled game against South Dakota State, and it looks as though that game will not be rescheduled.
In a letter to Iowa State fans, Iowa State Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard explained the process and line of thinking that led to the cancellation of Saturday’s game against the FCS opponent, why it was not moved to Sunday, and suggested it may not be made up at all due to scheduling conflicts the rest of the year.
“It does not appear we will be able to reschedule our game with South Dakota State,” Pollard said in his letter. “The team’s bye weeks are on different weeks so we cannot reschedule the game during the regular season. The only week that could work is Dec. 1. Needless to say, both of our teams hope to be playing that weekend.”
That does not necessarily rule out the possibility of a makeup game. Instead, it moves forward with the optimistic line of thinking both programs have to pursue a shot at a conference title at the end of the year. Scheduling a game now for that weekend would leave a message that neither program expects to play that weekend. Pollard went on to suggest Iowa State is already looking to see if there is a possible opponent to be scheduled at the last minute for a makeup game, but stresses that is dependant on finding an opponent in the same position with a schedule that works without having to make any additional changes.
“The challenge is the opponent would need to be available to play (not scheduled to play on one of those dates) and eligible to play (either experienced a cancellation or did not schedule a full slate of games this year),” Pollard explained. “Needless to say it will be difficult to find an opponent that meets those requirements and is interested in coming to Ames.”
The risk of playing an 11-game schedule is it leaves programs one less opportunity to reach the six-win mark to qualify for postseason play in a bowl game. Many programs schedule games against FCS opponents with the expectation they will make for an easy win to rely on in the standings, so not being able to play South Dakota State is something that could, potentially, come back to haunt Iowa State. If the Cyclones only manage to win five games this season, that would put them in jeopardy for postseason play, although a waiver for an exemption given the circumstances could always be filed.
Iowa State is not alone in that situation, of course. Nebraska also scrapped a game against Akron on Saturday night. The Huskers may already have had a hard enough time getting to six wins with a challenging schedule this season, and losing out on a likely win against Akron could make for a steeper challenge to get to the postseason.