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Local Sports

ISU’s Pollard made right decision

Iowa State University’s football program has found a 12th opponent for its 2018 schedule.

The decision by ISU Athletics Director Jamie Pollard has been met with some blow back by Cyclone fans.

Fans may not be excited about a December 1 game against Incarnate Word, an FCS school which is 1-12 in its last 13 games.

However, Pollard did what he had to do to fill a schedule, give Cyclone players another opportunity to play in front of its fans and to continue helping the Cyclones develop into a Big 12 contender.

Iowa State is not expecting to lose this game. I think we can agree on that. The Cyclones will pay Incarnate Word $300,000 to come to Jack Trice Stadium. But that’s kind of the point.

At 0-1 right now, and with Oklahoma coming to town this weekend, there won’t be a ton of chances to get to six wins.

And even if Iowa State has the required six wins before playing this game, the extra game would help develop freshmen who can play up to four games this season without red-shirting.

The game against Incarnate Word should give Iowa State a chance to play some younger players. The game should no longer be in doubt at halftime.

Those who are criticizing these decision were wanting the Cyclones to play a tougher school. Some wanted Iowa State to play Nebraska, which also needs a game to get to 12 on its schedule.

Others wanted the school to wait a few days to see how the latest hurricane affects games around the country. Other FBS Power 5 schools may be looking for a game to play, too.

To me, that’s the biggest reason why you pull the trigger now.

Pollard tried to get a few waivers to find an opponent. He wanted to pay Drake to come play Iowa State, but the NCAA wouldn’t allow it.

He also tried to get the NCAA to allow other FCS programs to play a 12th game but that was denied.

Incarnate Word actually dropped a game on its schedule to play Iowa State.

The Cardinals want another pay day. They have already played North Texas and New Mexico this season.

If Pollard didn’t decide to do this now, Incarnate Word could have decided to play someone else who later could be in a similar spot as the Cyclones. He can’t take that risk. He needs the game and got it taken care of now.

Iowa State wasn’t looking for an FBS team. The Cyclones don’t want to travel anywhere, and other FBS schools don’t want to make a trip to Iowa State either.

The Cyclones tried to schedule a powerhouse FCS school in South Dakota State but that game was canceled. So this is the next best option and Cyclone fans will fill the stadium to support their team.

The Cy-Hawk game was another close, hard fought battle. And the 13-3 score was exactly what Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz wants to see.

It was an old school type of football game.

Iowa State fans like to say the series is pretty even over the last 20 years. Coming into the game, Iowa and Iowa State were 10-10 against each other.

But Iowa fans can counter and say the Hawkeyes have won four straight, five of six and eight of 11.

The only reason its close the last 20 years is because the Cyclones took advantage of the Hayden Fry to Ferentz transition. And Dan McCarney had some pretty competitive Iowa State teams.

Contact Troy Hyde

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