Iowa State football: Athlon ranks Cyclones 66th nationally


Iowa State remains in the bottom half of the national college football rankings by Athlon Sports and they don’t expect them to have much chance finishing high in the Big 12 race.

The premier college sports magazine has ranked Cyclone football at 66th nationally in the college football landscape, and eighth in the Big 12. It’s becoming the consensus overall that Iowa State looks more promising than West Virginia and Kansas in the conference, and that’s about it.

Athlon broke down the offense, defense, and special teams along with giving a final verdict. No new takes are given on either side of the ball; it’s the standard information we’ve all heard before. The offense looks to be promising with Mark Mangino now as the offensive coordinator, lots of receiver weapons, and the defense will have their work cut out for them.

Since we haven’t touched on special teams much, it’s important to know what’s happening now that Iowa State doesn’t have the ability to lean on Kirby Van Der Kamp anymore. Here’s what Athlon had to say about it.

"After relying on Kirby Van Der Kamp for the last four seasons, Iowa State will hand the punting duties over to a true freshman in Colin Downing. Ranked as the top kicker/punter in the state of Wisconsin, Downing chose the Cyclones over Penn State. After going 13-of-18 — including 10-of-11 inside 40 yards — on field-goal attempts last season, Cole Netten will kick once again for the Cyclones."

In other rankings, Athlon listed Paul Rhoads as the seventh-best coach in the Big 12 while projected quarterback Grant Rohach is the eighth-best QB in the conference. Again, Iowa State is above West Virginia and Kansas in both categories, and Rhoads is also above Texas Tech’s Kliff Kingsbury.