In what has become one of the most eventful offseasons in college football history, one tiny little thing seems to have flown under the radar — the upcoming season.
Yes, believe it or not, there are games to be played this fall and the talk of TV contracts and divisionless football will fade into the background, at least for a few months.
As Cyclone fans close the book on the Purdy Era, there is as much anxiety as there is excitement about what 2022 looks like for Matt Campbell’s program and I’m not going to theorize what a young and largely inexperienced team is going to do this season. My gut tells me this team will be playing a 13th game this year, but predicting the details of what happens between weeks 1 and 13 is as likely as guessing this week’s lottery numbers.
But as I was looking ahead to the schedule this season, there were some things that stood out to me that stand alone as fun facts. I love meaningless (but interesting!) stats and trends to fuel fans’ excitement and paranoia, so that’s precisely what I’m going to provide here. This is just a brain dump of unorganized facts and trends, so fasten your seat belts.
SE Missouri State – September 3 – Ames, IA
- This will be the first ever meeting between the two programs.
- SEMO head coach Tom Matukewicz was hired as Matt Campbell’s first defensive coordinator when he took the head coaching job at Toledo in 2012. He held the position for two seasons before accepting the head coaching job at SEMO. This will be the first time they meet on the field since being on staff together in 2013.
- The Redhawks finished last season ranked 184th in the Sagarin Ratings, making them the lowest-ranked season-opening opponent in the Campbell era. The Cyclones haven’t opened a season against an opponent ranked worse than 104th in the Sagarin ratings since the 2009 season.
- Hunter Dekkers will make his first career start at QB against SEMO. It will be the first time since 2011 that ISU opens the season with no FBS starting experience at QB. It is the first time since the 1997 season that Iowa State’s QB and RB have 1 or less combined career starts.
Iowa – September 10 – Iowa City, IA
- Iowa has won 6-straight in the series, the 2nd-longest winning streak in series history.
- The Hawkeyes have played nearly mistake-free football during the streak, having not coughed up a turnover since the 2015 game. Iowa holds a 9-0 turnover advantage against the Cyclones in the Matt Campbell era.
- Between the two rosters, there are 99 players from the state of Iowa (54 at Iowa, 45 at ISU)
Ohio – September 17 – Ames, IA
- The Cyclones are 7-0 all-time versus Ohio — the program’s best record against any FBS opponent.
- Iowa State is 5-0 in the third game of the season dating back to 2017.
- Campbell and Ohio head coach Tim Albin served as assistants in the MAC and faced each other three times—2007 and 2008 (Campbell OL coach at Bowling Green, Albin OC at Ohio), and 2010 (Campbell OC at Toledo, Albin OC at Ohio). Campbell’s teams went 2-1.
Baylor – September 24 – Ames, IA
- The Cyclones have faced off against Baylor in the Big 12 opener twice in the Matt Campbell era. They are 0-2 in those games. They are 1-5 in Big 12 openers under Campbell.
- The September 24 kickoff will mark the 6th anniversary of Matt Campbell’s first win at Iowa State — a 44-10 home win against San Jose State in 2016.
Kansas – October 1 – Lawrence, KS
- Iowa State has won 7 in a row against the Jayhawks. Campbell is 6-0 with a 168-point advantage in that period.
- Last season’s 59-7 victory was the largest in series history.
Kansas State – October 8 – Ames, IA
- Iowa State has won 3 of the last 4 in the series against Kansas State.
- The Cyclones are 5-0 in the sixth game of the season in the past five seasons.
Texas – October 15 – Austin, TX
- Iowa State has won 3-straight in the series against Texas.
- Xavier Hutchinson threw Iowa State’s only touchdown pass in last year’s game, a 49-yard bomb on a trick play to Tarique Milton. Milton elected to transfer after last season and is now a Longhorn.
Oklahoma – October 29 – Ames, IA
- 5 of the last 6 games in the series have been decided by a touchdown or less and all 7 games in the Campbell era have been decided by 10 points or less.
- Iowa State plays Oklahoma in the month of October for the third time in the Campbell era. They are 2-0 in the previous two meetings.
West Virginia – November 5 – Ames, IA
- This will be just the second Iowa State homecoming game since 1978 to be played in the month of November. The Cyclones hosted TCU on November 9, 2013.
- Iowa State is 4-1 in their last five homecoming games and 9-4 in those games dating back to the beginning of the Paul Rhoads era.
Oklahoma State – November 12 – Stillwater, OK
- The last seven games in this series (since 2015) have been decided by 7 points or less (5.3 average).
- Matt Campbell has a .500 record or better over every Big 12 team except Oklahoma State (2-4) and Oklahoma (2-5).
Texas Tech – November 19 – Ames, IA
- Matt Campbell is 5-1 against Texas Tech, the only loss coming on a walk-off 62-yard field goal last season.
- The Cyclones have scored at least 31 points against the Red Raiders in the last 9 consecutive seasons, dating back to 2013.
- The November 19 meeting will mark the 6th anniversary of the (in)famous 66-10 win against Texas Tech in Matt Campbell’s first season. The Cyclones meet the Red Raiders on the same date in the same location.
- This will be only the fourth time in school history that Iowa State has hosted a Texas school later than November 16 (Texas Tech, 2014; Texas Tech, 2016; TCU, 2021). The Cyclones are 2-1 in those games.
TCU – November 26 – Fort Worth, TX
- Iowa State DL Will McDonald has logged a sack against the Horned Frogs in four consecutive seasons.
- The Cyclones beat the Horned Frogs on the same date, November 26, last season. Breece Hall rushed for 242 yards, scored 4 touchdowns, and broke the NCAA record for most consecutive games with a rushing touchdown.
- Iowa State is 4-1 in their last 5 senior day games and averaged 40.0 points per game. They are also 4-1 in their last 5 games against the Horned Frogs, the lone loss being on a last-second field goal in 2018.