1. IOWA STATE WIN TOTAL PREDICTION: WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN
A few of the key stars are missing, but it’s a more experienced and better team overall.
There’s no quick fix for losing NFL talents like RB David Montgomery and WR Hakeem Butler, but it’s a strength-in-numbers situation in the backfield, and the receiving corps has plenty of good parts for QB Brock Purdy to work with.
The defense will once again be among the Big 12’s best, starting with a good front line and with solid veteran defensive backs that need to come up with more picks. Throw in a good kicking game, and this should be Matt Campbell’s best team yet.
Set The Regular Season Win Total At … 8
It’s hard to find eight wins for a third straight season, but the Cyclones keep finding ways to pull off just enough slight stunners.
They’re able to muck things up and bring teams down to their level, and they’re going to have to do that at home against a TCU, or an Oklahoma State, or an Iowa, or a Texas, or against any or all of the above.
Beating Northern Iowa, ULM and Kansas in Ames shouldn’t be a problem, but can there be five more wins against a rough rest of the slate? There should be four, and throw in a bowl win to get to eight again – if they don’t hit the mark in the regular season.