Breaking down the Cyclones Big 12 football schedule


Tyler Coe

Joey Petersen celebrates after a play against Oklahoma on Oct. 29

The 2023 Iowa State football schedule is official.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Cyclones were given who they would compete against in Big 12 play this fall.

Two unfamiliar teams are seen on this year’s schedule as four new teams, BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and Central Florida will be added to the Big 12 in the 2023 season.

Here is a look at what the Big 12 schedule will look like for Matt Campbell and the Iowa State football team.

Sep. 23 vs. Oklahoma State

After their three non-conference games against Northern Iowa, Iowa and Ohio, Iowa State will start its conference play at home against Oklahoma State.

The Cowboys finished the 2022 season in the middle of the pack finishing fifth in the Big 12 after going 4-5 in conference play and 6-7 overall.

Other than their 41-31 win over Texas Tech, who finished just above Oklahoma State in the Big 12, they did not have any wins over big teams. However, they did make it to a bowl game, where they lost to Wisconsin in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.

So, this will be an interesting matchup for the Cyclones, who will be given an opportunity to start the Big 12 playoff strong with a win at home.

Sep. 30 at Oklahoma

The Cyclones will get the Oklahoma teams out of the way early, as the Oklahoma Sooners will be their next matchup. This will also be Iowa State’s first Big 12 road game as they will travel to Norman, Oklahoma.

The Sooners finished third from the bottom in the Big 12 with a 3-6 conference record and a 6-7 overall record. They also made it to a bowl game, the Cheez-It Bowl, where they lost 35-32 over No.11 Florida State.

Iowa State lost to Oklahoma 27-13 at home last season, so this will be a chance for them to get revenge and get a road win in the books early on.

Oct. 7 vs. TCU

TCU will be Iowa State’s next matchup and will travel to Jack Trice Stadium to do so.

This could be a huge game for the Cyclones as the No. 2 Horned Frogs made it to the 2022 CFP National Championship where they suffered a tough 65-7 loss over Georgia.

TCU’s only Big 12 loss last season was to Kansas State in a 31-28 overtime game. Their only other loss was to Georgia.

With this game being at home, it will give Iowa State a great opportunity to represent its home field. This game is also labeled as the Jack Trice Legacy game.

Oct. 14 at Cincinnati

The Cincinnati Bearcats will be the first new team that the Cyclones play, and they will do so in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Cincinnati is coming from the American Athletic Conference, where they finished third with a 6-2 conference record and a 9-4 overall record.

Additionally, the Bearcats just recently lost their head coach, Luke Fickell, after he was offered the head coaching position at the University of Wisconsin. The team’s new coach will be Scott Satterfield, who was the coach at Louisville.

Coming into a new conference with a new coach will more than likely be a challenge for Cincinnati, but they will also have the advantage of getting to play the Cyclones at home.

Oct. 28 at Baylor

Iowa State will have back-to-back road game weekends as they will travel to Waco, Texas to take on the Baylor bears.

Baylor also finished in the middle of the Big 12 standings, just below Oklahoma State. They went 4-5 in conference play and also finished 6-7 overall.

Iowa State faced Baylor at home last season and lost by just a touchdown. Additionally, Baylor almost pulled out an upset win at home over TCU after they lost 29-28.

Almost all of Baylor’s games were won or lost within about ten points or less. So, this game could be highly competitive between the Bears and Cyclones, just as it was in 2022.

Nov. 4 vs. Kansas

To start off November, Iowa State will return to Ames to take on the Kansas Jayhawks.

Kansas also finished with a 6-7 overall record and went 3-6 in conference play, where they landed right above Oklahoma in the Big 12.
The Cyclones played Kansas in Lawrence last season and came up short by a field goal in a 14-11 loss. Kansas also had the opportunity to beat TCU but lost by a touchdown.

The Jayhawks also lost 55-53 in overtime in the Liberty Bowl where they played Arkansas.

This could be another tight game for both Iowa State and Kansas, and it will be interesting to see how the Cyclones can react to playing the Jayhawks on the road.

Nov. 11 at BYU

BYU will be the second and last new team that the Cyclones will face in 2023. This will also be an away game for Iowa State and will be played in Provo, Utah.

The Cougars came from an independent conference meaning that they aren’t officially associated with any certain conference. So, last season, they played teams like Notre Dame, Connecticut and Army.

BYU finished its season 8-5 and was 4-2 at home. Because the Cyclones will be playing them at their home field, BYU will have the advantage to continue a winning home record.

BYU competed in the New Mexico Bowl to finish out its season where they beat SMU 24-23.

Nov. 18 vs. Texas

The Texas Longhorns will be Iowa State’s last home game of the season.

Texas finished third in the Big 12 below Kansas State and TCU. They grabbed a 6-3 conference record and an 8-5 conference record.

Additionally, they were 2-2 on away games so a win for them at Jack Trice could really go either way.

In 2022, it was a 24-21 field goal loss for Iowa State when they played Texas in Austin. Additionally, one of the Longhorns’ biggest games of the 2022 season was its 49-0 shutout win on the road against Oklahoma.

Texas also had a 34-27 road win over No. 14 Kansas State. So, the Longhorns are capable of grabbing big road wins.

Nov. 25 at Kansas State

The Cyclones’ regular season will be with a trip to Manhattan, Kansas to take on Kansas State.

The Wildcats also had a fairly successful 2022 season where they finished second in the Big 12 with a 7-2 conference record and a 10-4 overall record.

Kansas State was 5-2 at home after they lost to Tulane and Texas. However, the Wildcats did beat TCU both times they played them with one of them being in the Big 12 Championship game.

Kansas State’s bowl game experience was a 45-20 loss over No. 5 Alabama, but they also experienced a shutout after beating Oklahoma State 48-0.

An away game to end the season may be a challenge for Iowa State as that was how they finished the season last year in their 62-14 loss over TCU.