Prediction for the first six games: (5-1) Are we sipping the Kool-Aid?
9/3 North Dakota State (2008 record: 6-5) – We would like to see the Cyclones come out and win this game decisively. NDSU is coming off a down year and several Bison players are suspended for this game. Top 2 questions: 1. How quickly can the ISU offense get on track? 2. Is the defense improved? and if so, how much?
- Prediction: Iowa State 49 North Dakota State 14
Win (85% chance of victory)
9/12 Iowa (2008 record: 8-4, 2008 result Iowa 17 Iowa St 5) – It would appear that both offenses are going to have big advantages over the defenses. Iowa State, with the spread offense, should have luck moving the ball down the field against a defense that will be missing two of their top two CB’s. The Hawkeyes are unlikely to come out of their base 4-3 defense and the Cyclones should be able to exploit matchups. Iowa has a very good offensive line and should be able to lean on an undersized ISU front seven. However, the Hawks will most likely be missing OL starter Julian Vandervelde and the RB’s are still unproven. The Cyclones have won the last two against Iowa at Jack Trice and Iowa is a team that gets better as the season moves along.
- Prediction: Iowa State 30 Iowa 28
Win (55% chance of victory)
9/19 at Kent State (2008 record: 4-8, 2008 result Iowa St 48 Kent St 28) – The Cyclones haven’t won a game on the road in four years, but this should be a good chance to end that streak. The Cyclones have had all kinds of trouble tackling Julian Edelman and Eugene Jarvis the last two seasons. Edelman has moved on to the NFL, but Jarvis is back for what should be a great senior season. Iowa State should score plenty of points and the Cyclones should win, but they still need to learn how to finish games on the road.
- Prediction: Iowa State 35 Kent State 24
Win (60% chance of victory)
9/26 Army (2008 record:3-9) – Army’s football program has really struggled this last decade. The Black Knights won only three games last year, but they did manage to pull a victory out on the road against Tulane. Iowa State won’t have an athletic advantage in many games this year, but this will be one of them. If Iowa State can stop the triple option this game won’t be close.
- Prediction: Iowa State 38 Army 17
Win (80% chance of victory)
10/3 Kansas State at Arrowhead Stadium (2008 record: 5-7, 2008 result Kansas St 38 Iowa St 30) – We feel this is the most important game on the Cyclones schedule. Bill Snyder is back in control of a Wildcat squad that won 5 games the last two seasons. USF transfer Grant Gregory and junior Carson Coffman are still battling for the starting QB position heading into the opening game of the season. We think Iowa State has a much better offense and Kansas State(117) returns a defense that actually ranked lower than ISU(112). Cyclone fans need to get to Arrowhead stadium and make sure this doesn’t turn into a home game for Kansas State.
- Prediction: Iowa State 28 Kansas State 27
Win (55% chance of victory)
10/10 Iowa State at Kansas (2008 record 7-5, 2008 result Kansas 35 Iowa St 33) – ISU’s most disappointing loss last year came against the Jayhawks in the Big 12 opener and the Cyclones never recovered. ISU jumped out to 20-0 lead at halftime, only to see the lead disappear by the end of the third quarter. Kansas returns the most potent offense in the Big 12 with QB Todd Reesing, TE Kerry Meier, WR Dezmon Briscoe and RB Jake Sharp. The KU defense will need to improve, but we like Kansas to win the Big 12 North. Iowa State offensive coordinator Tom Herman says his offensive scheme probably most resembles Kansas offense. Expect this to be a high scoring game with the Jayhawks coming out on top.
- Prediction: Kansas 38 Iowa State 24
Loss (25% chance of victory)