Even though the two meet this season, talks are already beginning about the potential of dropping Iowa State's return trip to Salt Lake City next season.
This would make sense because both teams will face radically different conferences next season. The Cyclones with the revamped nine-team Big 12 and Utah with their move to the Pac-10.
Losing the Iowa State game, in my opinion, isn't a big deal. Sure, it would be disappointing that we're essentially doing a one and done on the road - but it's not like the Cyclones are some football force.
The bigger news, though, is that this would provide an opening on Utah's 2011 schedule. That opening could theoretically be filled by the Cougars.
Of course, there are still issues with this.
For starters, this was a home game and I doubt the Utes replace Iowa State with a road game. They've already got road contests against Pitt and Boise State (at the moment) scheduled and it's not likely they schedule three out of conference road games. Especially when they could realistically have four conference road games.
But that's the problem. BYU travels to Salt Lake City this year and already have road trips against Oregon State and Texas. It's unlikely they would A) be willing to play consecutive years in Salt Lake and B) have three road out of conference games themselves.
So that means we're really looking at a roadblock here. In fact, the more I think about it, the more it seems likely the game will have to take a one year hiatus just to fairly balance out the schedules without radically adjusting things.
An option that could happen is if the Utes use that newly opened home slot and negotiate a deal with Boise State so that the game is played in Salt Lake City instead of Boise. Obviously a return date would be set up. Though, like with BYU, the Broncos have two road games already scheduled for 2011 (Ole Miss and Toledo), which means getting this to work would require some maneuvering on their end. Who knows, maybe they could drop the Toledo game.
If all that happened, it would mean the Utes then could schedule BYU and play them down in Provo without adding an extra road game. So their 2011 schedule would look like this:
9/03/11 - Team to replace Oregon (as we'll be conference mates now). Maybe an FBS team depending on whether the P-10 goes to nine conference games or eight. If nine, this could be a bye or an early conference game.
9/10/11 - Boise State has Wyoming scheduled here. However, the Cowboys will be a conference rival in 2011. So it's very likely this date will open up. Utah has it open, as well. So the Utes would host the Broncos.
9/17/11 - Utah originally had Oregon scheduled here. But they're now in the same conference, so this date opens up. BYU, currently, has nothing scheduled. So Utah could realistically play @ BYU this week.
10/01/11 - The original date where Utah had Boise State scheduled. If the Pac-10 does have nine conference games, that would mean there would only be room for three out of conference games. This would either be a bye or a conference game, depending on how the schedule breaks down.
10/15/11 - This week shouldn't change. It's their game @ Pitt.
So the Utes' OOC schedule would have two road games and very likely only one home game (though potentially two depending on whether the conference has eight or nine conference games). If there is room for only three out of conference games, I wouldn't be surprised if the Utes decided to put the rivalry on hold for at least a year and schedule a gimmie at home.
Of course, this assumes Boise State and Toledo go along with the idea. That might not be likely. If not, I guess the Utes could always just buy Boise State out and replace the Broncos with BYU and rework the schedule so that both teams are open a certain week for their contest down in Provo.