Hello, Cyclone Nation! Welcome back to our series where we go over each of the Cyclone athletic teams. Iowa State football is just around the corner, so there is no better time to go over the team’s recent efforts. A quick note: This will be a little light on the details as our site has covered the off-season extensively, so feel free to browse back stories for position breakdowns.
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Last season was a rough one for the men in cardinal and gold. They went 3-9 overall with a 2-7 mark in conference play. That record could have been much more positive if weren’t for multiple heartbreaking losses against Iowa, Texas, and TCU at Homecoming. However, they finished strong with wins over Kansas and West Virginia, the former being near-record setting in terms of cold temperature.
The road looks to be no easier this season as Iowa State opens up against perennial FCS powerhouse North Dakota State. They then bizarrely take on Kansas State before switching back to non-conference play for the big game against Iowa, held this year in Iowa City. The schedule in general has no major soft spots outside of potentially Kansas on November 8th, so wins could be few and far between.
Most pundits figure ISU to finish near the bottom of the Big 12 similar to the 2013 season, but there is reason to be optimistic. Many key pieces on offence return this season and have new offensive coordinator, Mark Mangino — himself a former head coach — to run the show. The defense could be improved as well thanks to the passion that the coaching staff consistently shows in developing talent. Finally, nobody will ever want to win harder than head coach Paul Rhoads.
It may be tough again this year thanks to schedule and the general difficulty ISU has when it comes to football, but I know every fan will continue to bleed cardinal and gold and cheer each and every game. Join us next week as we cover the last five Cyclone teams.