Iowa State AD Jamie Pollard disappointed to cancel football season opener
Tommy Birch, email@example.com
Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said the Cyclones are still looking for a 12th opponent to fill out the Cyclones’ schedule following Saturday’s season-opening game cancellation.
It’s not that easy, though, Pollard said Monday.
“There are a ton of moving parts,” Pollard said during Iowa State’s weekly coaches show. “I’ve spent the good part of several days kind of working down to figure out which teams were absolutely in the equation.”
Iowa State’s season opening game against South Dakota State was canceled last Saturday when stormy weather, including lightning, sent both teams to the locker room early in the first quarter. Making the game up on Sunday wasn’t an option since both teams didn’t want to tinker with their following game week schedule. Plus more stormy weather was in the forecast for Sunday and possible hotel arraignments may not have been available.
Making matters more difficult, Iowa State and South Dakota State have different bye weeks. That means Pollard has been trying to find another possible opponent for the Cyclones, who may need another game to get to six wins this season and become bowl eligible. But finding another team to play hasn’t been as easy as picking up the phone and calling up an athletic director at another school to play during Iowa State’s bye week on Oct. 20 or during Championship Week on Dec. 1.
“The bottom line is this, there were only two schools in the country, FCS schools in the country, that are eligible to play another game,” Pollard said. “FCS schools can only play 11 games so there were only two schools that were in that position. One of them has said they absolutely will not play us. The other has said they would consider playing us but the only way they could play is if we played on the Championship Weekend. However, if they’re in their championship game, they can’t play.”
Pollard said that could be a dicey situation to be in because the team may not know until a week in advance at the soonest if that team would be playing in their championship game. If that does happen, Pollard said Iowa State could get a pre-approved waiver that if Iowa State only had five wins, it could still be bowl eligible. But those aren’t the only options.
“Another option is, I believe there are nine FCS teams that are available on Oct. 20,” Pollard said. “They are not playing on Oct. 20. However, all nine of those teams have already got 11 games. So, there would need to be a wavier that would allow one of them to play a 12th game and somebody would want to come to Ames in the middle of their season, which could impact their ability to actually win their conference and play in the playoffs. And that would need a waiver.”
If Iowa State’s open date on Oct. 20 doesn’t work, Pollard said an FCS school would have to get a waiver to play the Cyclones during Championship Week to allow them to play another game after their season is done. In the event that neither of those scenarios work, Pollard said there is a third route to go.
“A third waiver would be if there’s somebody that doesn’t meet scholarship requirements that isn’t in the FCS that you could possible play,” Pollard said. “I don’t know if they’d think about that.”
One scenario that isn’t on the board, Pollard said, is a matchup with Nebraska. The Cornhuskers season opener against Akron was also canceled, causing fans to clamor for a meeting between the old Big 12 Conference rivals.
“My understanding is that Akron and Nebraska are going to save that Dec. 1 Championship Week … in the event that either one of them needs a game for their sixth win,” Pollard said.
“The bottom line is this is a really dicey situation. It’s going to be a lot more challenging then we would like it to be,” Pollards said. “But we’ll work our way through it.”
Source: Des Moines Register