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2012 College Football Win Totals: Iowa State

2012 College Football Win Totals: Iowa State

Iowa State won 6 regular season games last year and played Rutgers in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. The oddsmakers don’t think the Cyclones can gain bowl eligibility this year and have set their 2012 college football win totals at over 4.5 (+135) and under 4.5 (-175).

Helping us preview and project Iowa State’s 2012 college football win totals is one of our readers and self-proclaimed Cyclone homer, Mark Pruin. You can follow Mark on Twitter @pru4isu.

The Cyclone offense

Iowa State only averaged 22.7 ppg last year, but other than the uncertainty at the quarterback position, new offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham has some solid options to work with.

Iowa State has good depth at running back with Shontrelle Johnson, James White and Jeff Woody. The Cyclones should also be solid on the offensive line with three starters returning and six players returning overall with starting experience.

The wide receivers are a decent group. Josh Lenz, Jarvis West, Aaron Horne are a good group and freshman Quenton Bundrage and Tad Ecby add to the play making ability.

Quarterback is the biggest question mark on offense for Iowa State. A starter still hasn’t been named, but Steele Jantz and Jared Barnett have game experience from last year and an added year of experience should only help them.

If ISU can run the ball behind that good OL, that will take pressure off the QB.

The Cyclone defense

Iowa State allowed nearly 30 ppg last year (29.39) and could be hard pressed to match those mediocre results with this years defensive unit.

The DL must replace three multi-year starters, and more importantly, the secondary, which was ISU’s defensive strength last season must replace playmakers Leonard Johnson at CB (a 4 year starter) and Ter’ran Benton at SS.

AJ Klein and Jake Knott are one of the best LB combos in the country. They combined for 23 percent of the Cyclones’ tackles last year.

Schedule Analysis

2012 college football win totals - Iowa State

HC Paul Rhoads & Iowa State

Other than Western Illinois, there are no guaranteed wins on the Cyclones schedule. Even a game at lowly Kansas could prove to be difficult considering ISU only beat the Jayhawks 13-10 last year in Ames.

However, on the bright side, only OU and Texas appear to be guaranteed losses. The remaining schedule, though daunting, is not impossible. The Cyclones look to have a lot of “swing games” this season.

Games at Iowa, at TCU, at Oklahoma State and home against West Virginia appear to be losses on paper, but we all know what HC Paul Rhoads has done in the past (at Nebraska, at Texas and Oklahoma State last year). He gets a lot of mileage out of his players and will continue to get them to play hard-nosed, competitive football.

Iowa State’s 2012 College Football Win Totals

HC Paul Rhoads has Iowa State believing more and more that every week they can be competitive and can play with any team in the Big 12. Rhoads also proclaims this Cyclone team to be his deepest and most talented.

However, the Cyclones don’t figure to be favored in more than a few games this season, so they will have to pull quite a few upsets in order to surpass the 4.5 win total that the oddsmakers have set for them this year.

Do you think Iowa State can gain bowl eligibility for the third time in the past four years? 

- Pez

 

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One Response to “2012 College Football Win Totals: Iowa State”

  1. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    I hate to say it, but under 4.5. The problem is in the math. When you are a team that has been at the bottom of their division for so long, it makes it even tougher to reach their goal of winning those same amount of games when they now have a full conference to deal with.

    One problem with playing in a 10 team conference, and having to play every team in that conference is if there is any seperation at all between the teams in that conference, your pretty much guaranteed to have two teams come out of it with losing records. Last year we had Texas Tech and Kansas finish at the bottom. And those teams had just a combined record of 7-17. Which averages out to 3.5 wins each.

    Almost every opponent that Iowa State plays this season SHOULD have a winning record. Kansas is the only exception. Texas Tech dealt with a ton of injuries last year. So with 17 starters back from a 5-7 record, I expect the Red Raiders to end up at the very worst a 6-6 to 7-5 record.

    So that basically just leaves Iowa State and Kansas as the bottom teams. Their biggest problem could be in their non-conference schedule. Last season after just getting by Northern Iowa 20-19, they pulled off the upset of Iowa at home, then went to UCONN (5-7 LY) and won another tight game. But this season they are opening with a couple teams who both went to bowls last year, and will probably be just about as good this year. Instead of playing Iowa in Ames, they now have to play a revenge-minded Hawkeye team on the road. And the opener with Tulsa will pretty much be a tossup game.

    Realistically, even if they knock off Tulsa or Iowa, that still makes them just 2-1 going into league play since this league is now down to playing just 3 non-conference opponents. Which hurts these bottom dweller teams who are used to scheduling that one extra non-bcs or FCS team to get a freebie win. It means the Clones will have to win at least 3 conference games this year.

    The problem is two out of those three Big 12 teams they defeated last year will be improved this year. And Okie State will also be looking for revenge in Stillwater since ISU destroyed their national title hopes. Their 4 most realistic chances at wins come at home against Texas Tech, Kansas State, Baylor and at Kansas. I think they’ll be doing very good if they win 2 out of these 4 games. Even Kansas is no guarantee. They’ll have a much better offense this year, and the game will be played in Lawrence this year. Keep in mind that ISU was only able to beat KU 13-10 in Ames last year. So they have their work cut out for them.

    The biggest concern is ISU still hasn’t named a starting QB, so the chances of them sweeping those early non-conference games is remote. They did it last year, but still needed a huge upset of OSU to even become bowl eligible. If they lose to Tulsa in their first game (very possible) there’s a pretty good chance they will be just 1-2 going into league play. And there’s no way I see them winning 4 conference games, with at least 3 being over bowl eligible teams. So these early games are key. But I can tell you guys, it’s not a good sign when a team hasn’t yet named their starting QB just two weeks out from kickoff. I think the under 4.5 wins is very possible because of a more difficult schedule than last season.

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