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It's not much longer until we see the magazine racks littered with preseason college football previews. And already word is leaking out that the Cyclones, led by a rehabbing Todd Blythe, are expected to be good.

The Sporting News has tabbed Iowa State's football team as its pick to win the North Division title in the Big 12 Conference this Fall.  Iowa State is the defending Big 12 North Division co-champion and finished the 2004 season with a 7-5 record and a victory in the Independence Bowl. It was ISU's fourth bowl appearance in the last five years. The 2005 season will mark the Cyclones' 11th campaign under Big 12 coach of the year (coaches poll). The Sporting News ranks Iowa State 22nd nationally to start the season.

The Sporting News preseason magazine also has Cyclone sophomore wide receiver Todd Blythe rated as the 11th best receiver nationally and offensive lineman Aaron Brant is ranked as the 18th best tackle in the country.

Iowa State opens the 2005 season against Illinois State Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. in Jack Trice Stadium. The season features home games against Iowa (Sept. 10), Baylor (Family Weekend/Oct. 8), Oklahoma State (Homecoming/Oct. 22), Kansas State (Nov. 5) and Colorado (Nov. 12). Season tickets are on sale online at or by calling the ISU athletic ticket office at 1-888-ISU-CYCLONE (1-888/478-2925).  Season tickets can also be ordered in person at the Iowa State athletic ticket office.

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