Iowa State football: Five games Cyclones must win to go bowling

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Nov 30, 2013; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers running back Dreamius Smith (2) runs with the ball during the third quarter of the game against Iowa State Cyclones at Milan Puskar Stadium. The Iowa State Cyclones defeated West Virginia Mountaineers 52-44 in the third overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia Mountaineers

Bottom line — if Iowa State wants to go bowling, they have to win this three game stretch that concludes with their season finale at Jack Trice Stadium against the Mountaineers. The Cyclones’ schedule is completely frontloaded; they have an incredibly high chance to start 0-5 if things aren’t jelling with the new offense and the defense plays poorly.

Don’t forget that a season finale at TCU is very winnable,but Iowa State needs to defend their home turf in a much better way than it did last season. That’s why — if they can win these four games at home, a road game at Lawrence, and mix in an upset somewhere along the line — they will be going bowling this season.