2012 Iowa State Cyclones Football Preview
2011 Record: 6-7 (3-6 Big 12)
Head Coach: Paul Rhoads, fourth season (18-20 all at Iowa State)
Projected Returning Starters: 13
Spring Game: April 14th (Cardinal 13 Gold 7)
Notes: Iowa State fans, get used to seeing Paul Rhoads on the sidelines. Since the end of last season, Coach Rhoads has signed a ten-year extension, worth $20 million. His original contract was set to expire in 2013, but, if all goes as planned, he will be in Ames much longer than that. Last year wasn’t easy for Iowa State, but they managed to make the post-season, which they missed the year prior. The Cyclones were 4-2 at home, including a win over then-#2 Oklahoma State in two overtimes, which was enough to knock the Cowboys from the ranks of the unbeaten and, ultimately, the BCS National Championship Game. Iowa State was blown out in many of their losses, outside of the Kansas State game, which they lost by seven, their closest loss was by 16.
BVTSB Take: Last year, Coach Rhoads used two quarterbacks – Jared Barnett and Steele Jantz. Nothing has changed since then, as both saw playing time in the spring game. Last year’s leading rusher, James White, returns for his junior season. White rushed for over 700 yards and eight touchdowns last season. Iowa State runs a fairly balanced offense, but the passing game looked pretty good in the spring game. With wide receiver Darius Reynolds’ departure, Barnett and Jantz will need to find a new target. That man could be Josh Lenz, who was impressive in the Cardinal-Gold game, hauling in seven catches for 98 yards, including a 56-yard completion. Aaron Horne and Albert Gary will also return this season, providing depth, and experience, at the wide receiver position for the Cyclones. Last year, Iowa State faced Northern Iowa, Iowa, and Connecticut in non-conference play. They needed each of those wins to get to bowl eligibility. Expect it to be tougher this season, with the Cyclones visiting rival Iowa. They also host Tulsa and Western Illinois. The conference schedule sets up well for Iowa State, who hosts Texas Tech, Kansas State, Baylor, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. The Cyclones are more than capable of having a home winning record in Big 12 play. Outside of Kansas, the road schedule in conference play is tough, including visits to newcomer TCU, Oklahoma State, and Texas. I like the job Rhoads did in 2012. Provided the quarterback situation is sorted out and a top receiver emerges, look for Iowa State to improve their record in 2012.
2012 Early Projection: 7-5
To see the 2012 Big 12 composite schedule, click here.
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