At his farewell news conference, former Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said he was leaving behind a bowl team. Publisher and college football prognosticator Phil Steele says for that to happen the Cyclones will need to post one upset.
ISU will be looking to make progress under first year coach Matt Campbell after a 3-9 record in 2015.
“They are basically one upset away from making a bowl game”, said Steele. “I think they will be favored in the opener against Northern Iowa and favored against San Jose State. They get Kansas on the road, host Texas Tech, West Virginia and this is a team that plays pretty well in Jack Trice Stadium. Even last year they were 3-3 at home.”
One concern for the Cyclones is a lack of experience along the offensive line. Steele says Campbell’s staff may be the right one to overcome it.
“Last year at Toledo that had zero returning starters on the offensive line but did not allow a sack until game eight.”
Iowa State opens the season at home on September third against Northern Iowa. Phil Steele’s College Football Preview Magazine hits the newsstands on June 28.