2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 64 Iowa State Cyclones
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Iowa State Cyclones
No. 64: Iowa State Cyclones
Iowa State Cyclones Prespring Status
Going 3-9 is never going to fly at any program, but considering the Cyclones battled hard in losses to Baylor, Kansas State and Oklahoma, and with wins over Kansas and Texas Tech late in the year, there were signs that Matt Campbell might be able to make this whole thing work soon. The program might have shown upside and promise – with an offense that started to throw the ball well, to go along with a defense that had a few nice moments – but now the wins have to follow.
Highlighted by the return of star WR Allen Lazard, six starters are back to an offense that should be even more explosive with the key weapons returning. The defense gets six starters back, including most of the defensive backs and enough depth to be better, but …
Iowa State Cyclones Biggest Issue
The defensive front loses three of the key forces with tackles Jhaustin Thomas and Demond Tucker on the inside, and Mitchell Meyers on the outside, while the linebacking corps needs to find more producers. Co-leading tackler Kane Seeley is gone, and CB Jomal Wiltz has to be replaced, but it’s the line that’ll get the spotlight this spring. Tucker was the best player up front, but Thomas was the top playmaker in the backfield.
Iowa State Cyclones Biggest Positive
The offense should be able to keep up better than ever in the Big 12. All the top running backs return – the 1-2 combination of David Montgomery and Mike Warren should be terrific – while the quarterback rotation will throw curveball after curveball. The running of Joel Lanning and the passing of Jacob Park – Park can run, and Lanning can throw, too – will be difficult to deal with, while the receiving corps gets back the 1,018 yards and seven touchdowns from Lazard, and five of the top six wideouts.
Really, Why Are The Iowa State Cyclones Ranked Here?
They should be far, far better in a next-step-up sort of season under Campbell, but this is still a team that only came up with three wins and needs to figure out how to beat the stars. The offense should be able to keep up the pace more than normal, but it might take a while for the defensive front to step up and the production to come. Iowa State won’t win the Big 12, but it’ll be a bigger factor.