I feel our offensive line is going to be a major strength this year and that our running game will continue to get better. If we control the ball on the offensive side then our defense will not get worn down and should be strong throughout the season. Obviously, our defensive line and linebackers have to step up but I feel we have players that can do that. If our front seven doesn't step up then we will clearly be in trouble. Our secondary returns all four starters which is huge and it won't even have to face pass-happy Texas Tech this year.
So I'm going with 7-5 and you may think I'm crazy but if they do accomplish a winning season, it really won't be that surprising. Rutgers went 4-7 in 2004 before going 7-5 in 2005 and Kansas went from 6-6 in 2006 to 12-1 last year. Notre Dame went from double figure wins in 2006 to three wins last year. College football is a funny sport that can really change from year to year. I feel the players will really benefit now that they are fully comfortable with Coach Chizik's system.
Game 1: South Dakota State at Iowa State
Cyclones ground game will be too much as they should win rather easily to start off the season 1-0. What will be interesting about this game is to see if the defense can dominate early.
Game 2: Kent State at Iowa State
This game should obviously be tougher but I think this is the game that will show that Iowa State is done losing games at home that they have no business losing like they have in the past. I think it will be close but I predict the Cyclones to move to 2-0 on the season.
Game 3: Iowa State at Iowa
Unless our defense doesn't continue to improve the way I think it will, the Cyclones will win this game. I think we are better and I think that by game three that Philip Bates will be making a lot of noise on the offensive end whether at QB or WR. He's a weapon that will continue to haunt the Hawkeyes. ISU moves to 3-0.
Game 4: Iowa State at UNLV
If we start 3-0 then this game becomes very dangerous. I feel UNLV's revenge factor and the fact that I don't believe this Cyclone team can win four straight games yet will be too much. The Cyclones fall to 3-1.
Game 5: Kansas at Iowa State
THE BIGGEST GAME OF THE YEAR. This is true for a variety of reasons. First, we will likely have a lot of recruits at this game and if you haven't noticed many of the guys we are recruiting also have Kansas on their list also. A victory over the Jayhawks would not only be a great way of starting the Big 12 season but it would be a major recruiting victory. The other major reason it would be so huge is that it would be a HUGE confidence boost to this team. Iowa State doesn't need moral victories and for them to win this game whether it be by blow out or by one point would hopefully make them realize that they could really compete in the Big 12.
I believe the Cyclones step up and get it done. They move to 4-1 (1-0)
Game 6: Iowa State at Baylor
Coach Chizik won't allow the team to have a let down again when playing a lesser opponent and I feel the Cyclones go on the road and get the victory. They are now 5-1 (2-0).
Game 7: Nebraska at Iowa State
Inconsistency is usually part of a team growing up and trying to be good again. The Husker roll into Ames and get a victory. Cyclones fall to 5-2 (2-1).
Game 8: Texas A&M at Iowa State
Sedrick Johnson will be happy that he picked the Cyclones because Iowa State will beat the Aggies on Homecoming and the Cyclones will move to 6-2 (3-1)
Game 9: Iowa State at Oklahoma State Iowa State's defense will struggle as the Cyclones fall to 6-3 (3-2).
Game 10: Iowa State at Colorado
The Cyclones will lead 28-0 before losing….no just kidding. This should be a very close game but I give the Buffs the edge and so the Cyclones will suffer their first losing streak of the season. They now sit at 6-4 (3-3).
Game 11: Missouri at Iowa State
Sure we are bowl eligible but a horrible losing streak at the end of the season won't get us in bowl game so Chizik's Crew will step up and win a game that they are not supposed to. No one thought they had a chance against Oklahoma last year and they almost knocked off the Sooners. In 2008, they will get the job done with a huge victory over the Tigers. Now move to 7-4 (4-3).
Game 12: Iowa State at Kansas State
Cyclones still jubilant over their huge victory get beat again on the road but they soon find out they are off to San Diego for the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl. Cyclones end up 7-5 (4-4).