Big East: Iowa State Cyclones Won't Make Conference Relevant on Gridiron

Michael DixonAnalyst IIISeptember 17, 2011

BOULDER, CO - NOVEMBER 13:  Alexander Robinson #33 of the Iowa State Cyclones celebrates his eight yard touchdown run in the second quarter with his teammates against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field on November 13, 2010 in Boulder, Colorado. Colorado defeated Iowa State 34-14.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

At this point, it's hard to keep track of which school is going to which conference.

The rumors are becoming stronger that the Big 12 is on its last legs. So, where do the 10 teams remaining in the the Big 12 go?

NBC Sports' Ben Kercheval reports that Baylor and Iowa State could join the Big East.

Conferences are becoming less geographical by the minute, but the Bears and Cyclones certainly didn't start that trend.

From a football perspective, the Big East has struggled to maintain relevance since losing Miami and Virginia Tech. Iowa State is generally a good team, but the Big East needs more than just a consistently good team to be taken seriously in football.

They need some punch and star power. That's what schools like Miami have, even during relatively bad years.

From the perspective of other sports, the Big East will be fine, despite the additions of Iowa State and Baylor signaling the departures of Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC.

The pain will certainly be felt from a basketball standpoint, but the conference is still incredibly deep. On the football field the additions of solid programs just aren't going to get the job done.

Between 2005 and 2007, the Big East was won by either West Virginia or Louisville. In each one of those years, the Big East Champion went on to win their BCS Bowl game. That does come with a slight asterisk, which we'll get to in a second.

In the three years since then, the Big East champion has done extremely poorly in the BCS games. They've lost all three years by an average of over 22 points.

The asterisk just mentioned is that TCU has won a BCS game in that period and will be joining the Big East in 2012.

So what does the Big East need to do to stay relevant in football?

Adding teams such as Miami and Virginia Tech provides instant credibility. Most of the teams in the Big East are seen as basketball powers than anything else, so adding football talent will help change that perspective and increase interest.

They also need to do better in the BCS games. No, they aren’t going to win every year, but they can’t be consistently trounced by the best teams other conferences have to offer.

Iowa State has never even been to a BCS game, so are they really the team to count on? Anything can change, but for now it doesn't appear so.

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