At least one college football preview magazine says the high expectations surrounding the Iowa State football program are justified. Phil Steele’s College Football Preview calls the Cyclones a dark horse in the Big 12 race. ISU has 16 starters back from last year’s team that finished 8-5 after a loss to Washington State in the Alamo Bowl, making the Cyclones one of the nation’s most experienced teams.
“And that is despite losing David Montgomery and Hakeem Butler”, said Steele. “Brock Purdy is back. They have a veteran offensive line for once under Matt Campbell and defensively they are playing solid and have eight starters back.”
The start of the Big-12 race will be crucial. Iowa State opens league play with three of four games away from home. Steele says Cyclone hopes for a trip to the Big-12 Championship game may come down to home games against Texas and T-C-U.
“If Iowa State takes care of business in those two games I feel they will be in the Big-12 title game”, added Steele. “I did not call for it. I’ve got Oklahoma and Texas going back to it but I have got both of those games rated as toss-ups.”
The Cyclones open August 31st against Northern Iowa.