Iowa State football: Cyclones picked eighth in FOX Sports Big 12 power rankings


FOX Sports has their Big 12 football power rankings out after spring practice has concluded, and the Iowa State Cyclones aren’t last.

Nov 30, 2013; Morgantown, WV, USA; Iowa State Cyclones tight end E.J. Bibbs (11) runs past West Virginia Mountaineers linebacker Isaiah Bruce (31) with the ball during the second half at Milan Puskar Stadium. Iowa State Cyclones defeated West Virginia Mountaineers 52-44 in the third overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

David Ubben, who covers the Big 12 of FOX Sports Southwest, places Iowa State at eighth. He notes all the starters returning, his thoughts on the QB situation, and Jeremiah George’s departure.

"ISU brings back 16 starters, as many as any team in the Big 12. Ten of those are on offense, giving new OC Mark Mangino a lot to work with. I don’t quite understand the QB debate in Ames, though. I’ll be shocked if anybody but Grant Rohach opens the year as starter. He may be due for a breakout season. Brandon Jensen’s recent return gives ISU’s D-line a nice post-spring boost, but replacing LB Jeremiah George’s instinct in the middle of the D is a tough task."

The response I have to the quarterback discussion is that we don’t really know how good Sam Richardson is. He was hampered with multiple nagging injuries from the season opener throughout. There’s a reason he was a starter last year. But we’ll have to see what transpires between those two, or if freshman Joel Lanning can make an impact. If there’s one position that everyone’s unsure of every single week, it’s Iowa State’s quarterback position.

Looking at the rest of the Big 12, Oklahoma grabs the top of the chart with Baylor in second place (mainly due to their losses on defense, which is a concern) and Kansas State at third. Texas, who competed with Baylor for a Big 12 title in the final week of the season, ranks sixth.

Ubben believes Iowa State has some upside this season, putting him in his third tier. I guess it’s a lot better than what he’s saying about Kansas.