What Hlas said, but with less of a downer.
Sure a drop to the Mountain-CUSA-B12 Leftover-Something League would hurt our collective egos, but it would be a more appropriate fit from a budgetary standpoint. ISU has more in common with Colorado State and Memphis athletically than OU, Texa$ and Nebraska.
Would Cyclone fan rather be a perpetual second-division program amongst the Big Boys, or first-division among teams that don't have deep pockets?
An his point about "prestige"- its "prestige" only among sports fans. The non-sports public assumes that if you are playing Big Time Football that you are a Jock School that gives lip service to academics. The number of public universities that have high quality academics and winning sports is insanely small.