This is, by no means, meant to be an in-depth or analytical preview, but who doesn’t love some surface level, hype-train predictions?
September 3rd – Northern Iowa Panthers
This is an actual must win game for the Clones and new HC Matt Campbell. Usually don’t say that about the 1st game but this year is different. They need all the momentum they can get heading into Kinnick the next week, Plus after the hype train – Kool-Aid drinking binge we have been on a loss here would be a huge blow to momentum and the Kool-Aid would start tasting like PseudoSue gross. W.
September 10th – @ Iowa Hawkeyes
Coach Campbell’s first CyHawk game will be a doozie, coming off a 12-2,undefeated regular season the Hawks will be favored by a large number in this game, especially at Kinnick. A win here could really boost momentum for the Clones toward a successful season, and a loss here would by no means derail anything. Would be a huge win, obviously, but I think the Hawks probably hold on here in a closely fought battle. L.
September 17th – @ TCU Horned Frogs
TCU is a bit of a mystery offensively going into this season as they have lost a real brawler of a starting QB in Boykin. Their defense is going to be the best in the Big 12 though, which may or may not equate to success with the caliber of offense in the league. TCU’s rushing attack will for sure take a step back this year with an experienced line and the loss of their starting RB. The addition of Kenny “Trill” Hill will definitely help dampen the blow from losing Boykin at QB. With this being a road game early in the season and TCU probably still working out the kinks on offense, I would still have to lean towards an ISU loss with this being on the road. L.
September 24th – San Jose State Spartans
This is a game that could be really tricky for ISU. San Jose State is coming off a bowl win and could be a tougher opponent than we might have thought previously. I think ISU still gets this win which will be crucial in getting to a bowl game. With this being the fourth game of the season we should totally expect ISU to be settled into a groove on offense and hopefully getting the defense through the non-conference schedule with no major injuries (fingers crossed and nut cups on). W.
October 1st – Baylor Bears
I’ve been seeing quite a few people counting the Bears out this year (I hope they are right), but I just don’t see them really taking much of a step back just yet. The next few years I can definitely see that happening, though, depending on who they get as their new HC. That being said, other than the Oklahoma game this is the conference game I want them to win the most. I mean booing these chumps out of JTS would be a ton of fun. OK maybe booing is a bad word, how about proudly waving goodbye as they walk out off the field. This will not be an easy task as they return quite a bit of firepower on offense and demonstrated in last years bowl game they can adapt and easily overpower most teams with their plug and play system. Gotta go with the L here though. L.
October 8th – @ Oklahoma State Cowboys
The Cowboys return eight starters on offense and four of five on the offensive line, this is going to be a very good Okie State team with an intriguing addition of Barry Sanders Jr. which should help with the ground attack. This is another road game that will be a tough one, but I’m picking this as a win because this is my article and I do what I want. W.
The home stretch-ish
These last seven weeks of the season are when the Clones can really make some strides with six games and a bye week with trips to Austin and Lawrence as the only road trips. Not exactly as tough of road games as they were in 2009 -2010 seasons. I have them 3-3 going into the last half of the season with plenty of chances to finish strong.
October 15th – @ Texas Longhorns
While I would never call this a rivalry game (someday, hopefully), this game has felt different the last few years. This is a game I feel like Iowa State has built up a lot of confidence for the last few years. The horns return seven starters on offense and defense but anyone with knowledge of college football knows they are loaded with highly regarded talent, so it’s only a matter of time before they either fire Strong or get really, really good again. This is a year where the Clones need to take advantage of them rebuilding a new offense and snatch their second win in a row. Yes, I’m putting this as a very winnable game and therefore one that Iowa State can and will win. Although it will not be another shutout unfortunately. W.
October 22nd – OFF
This is a W for sure, unless someone is arrested during the off week. Then it’s an L.
October 29th – Kansas State Wildcats
The Wildcats return eight starters from a year ago when the Clones basically rewrote any and all scenarios on how to lose a fucking game. I mean this game doesn’t need to be rehashed again due to the fact it hurts so damn much to talk about. With that being said, they will, as usual, be very well coached and will not beat themselves. No way in hell do the Clones lose this game, I refuse to believe the Wildcats will walk into Trice and beat the Clones this year! Nope, nope, nope. W.
November 3rd – Oklahoma Sooners
We’ve all seen this movie before. It’s not pretty and it’s not going to be a fun Friday at work after this game. Not much to say here. This would be a huge upset, and I would never say never, but this will be an excellent Sooners team coming into town for a Thursday night game (I fucking hate games on Thursdays). L.
November 12th – @ Kansas Jayhawks
Doesn’t really matter how many starters they return or who they have coming in, this is a must win for the Cyclones on this road trip to KansASS. Mostly due to the fact this might be our road trip game this year and I’ll be damned if I want to see their goalposts torn down yet again. I don’t care, I refuse to even consider this as a possible loss. Sorry Jayhawks the Clones win this one. W.
November 19th – Texas Tech Red Raiders
So despite losing some real firepower on offense and having the worst defense in the Big 12 last year, this team will still be able to score points at an incredible rate. Can the Cyclones stay healthy enough until this game on defense to at least slow them down? That’s the big question for me. Hopefully it’s freezing rain and about seven degrees for this game. Seriously, that would be helpful. L.
November 26th – West Virginia Mountaineers
So at this point in the season I already have the Clones at least bowl eligible, is that crazy? Maybe. Like I’ve told several people already I just can’t get over how close three of the losses were last year. Maybe that’s not the right way to look at the next season, but what the hell, that’s what I’m going to do anyway. So last year, CPR had already been told he would be fired, but would still be able to coach his last game of the season going into a road trip to wherever the fuck WVU plays. I can’t help but think that was a huge factor in this game, so I’m going to show my full Kool-Aid drinking self right now and pick this team to go 7-5 and get back to a bowl game for the first time in what seems like forever. I really hope I’m right on this. I truly believe that this team will improve as the year goes on unlike in previous years. I looked at who West Vagina brought back for this year, but honestly I don’t give a shit. I’m convinced this team will win seven games so I’m going with the W.
December 27th – Cactus Bowl (PAC 12)
This would be a monumental task in year one of the Campbell era, but I think they can pull it off. Whether they win or lose (I’m thinking this game would be against either Arizona or Arizona State) I think the more important part of making a bowl game is the extra practices that the team would get to wrap up year one. Building on this momentum in recruiting and on field results through the winter months would be huge going forward for the program. So at the risk of pumping myself up too much, I’m going to say the Cyclones finish 7-6, but take another giant step forward in 2017. L.