Sooners Illustrated looks at every opponent on the Oklahoma 2016 schedule

Oklahoma will try to extended its longest active winning streak against another school vs. the Cyclones

For the third year in a row, Sooners Illustrated breaks down Oklahoma’s most important games for the upcoming season. The rating system is based on the importance of a win, the strength of the opponent and a general idea of how key the game will be in terms of scheduling and performance.

It starts with the easiest game and ends up with the toughest.

3. Iowa State Cyclones

2015 record: 3-9

Last year vs. OU:  Oklahoma, 52-16.

Why this game is dangerous: Long winning streaks have to break eventually, and no conference team has gone longer without a win against Oklahoma than the Cyclones. First-year coach Matt Campbell built Toledo up into national recognition – 10-win season and a bowl victory. He also brought a mass of recruits over with him and signed 29 players, showing that players clearly like the young rising star. Iowa State also has a young trio of talented offensive players – running back Mike Warren (Oklahoma’s second choice after Joe Mixon), quarterback Joel Lanning and receiver Allen Lazard. There’s potential for a surprise bowl appearance for the Cyclones, and it would be the first in three years. The Cyclones would need one or two surprise wins to reach a bowl game.

Opponent to watch: The Cyclones return 14 starters, second only to Texas in the Big 12 Conference. It would be easy to pick out Warren, Lanning or Lazard as a player to watch, but they are too obvious. Keep an eye on them, but look for Kamari Cotton-Moya, the former defensive freshman of the year who missed the majority of the 2015 season with injury. Iowa State already has a few solid defensive backs, including a four-star incoming cornerback, but Cotton-Moya could round out a surprisingly talented back four that looks to improve on a 435.4 yards allowed per game.

Prediction: Iowa State’s biggest problem is still an offensive line that returns just one starter to a group that wasn’t overly productive. Oklahoma’s victory is basically certain, but the Sooners’ defensive line could gain a lot of confidence against the Cyclones. Charles Walker has a field day – three sacks and four tackles for loss – as Oklahoma finishes with eight sacks. Iowa State scores late but only closing a convincing gap, 46-21.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories