Challenging schedule? Yes. Fair schedule? Yes.


The Big 12 announced the league portion of its 2014 football schedule Tuesday and, from the Cyclones’ perspective, it appears well balanced. And it is, of course, tough.

 In an era of unbalanced – extremely in some cases – league schedules from a competitive standpoint, the Big 12’s round-robin format squashes any of that talk.

 What’s to like about the Cyclones Big 12 slate for next fall? Take these things for starters. Iowa State…

  • has five league home games and four conference road contests;
  • does not play consecutive road games at any point;
  • gets two “off” weeks during league play and each is in a good spot (6 times in the last 8 years one of its “off” weeks came in the final week rendering it useless to get extra recovery or preparation time);
  • has an “off” week between playing Texas and Oklahoma, two of the league heavyweights;
  • plays two of its last three games against teams from Texas (in 18 prior seasons of the Big 12, the Cyclones have only faced a team from Texas in its final three games of the year only twice – at Texas in ’12 and at Tech in ‘99);

 The non-conference portion of the schedule includes the Aug. 30 opener vs. North Dakota State, then an “off” week prior to a trip to Iowa, followed by a home game with Toledo.

 Challenging schedule? Yes.

 Fair schedule? Yes.