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WRNL Staff Predicts the 2016 ISU Football Season

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The opinions you’ve all been waiting for.

TCU v Iowa State Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

We are NINE days away from kickoff at Jack Trice Stadium, and the atmosphere is full of excitement with Iowa State football. New coach Matt Campbell and his staff have hit the social media circuit with some awesome hype videos, and we here at WRNL are ready to share with you our predictions for the 2016 football season!

Let’s start off with a hype video and the 816 Boyz.

Iowa State Football 2016 Season Predictions

jwillyISU

Biggest Key for Success: Keeping Lanning's jersey clean and defensive line pressure.

Overall Record: 5-7

Conference Record: 3-6

Offensive Team MVP: Mike Warren is going Troy Davis over everyone's asses and gains 2,000 yards (well, maybe).

Defensive Team MVP: Demond Tucker is an All-American, er, 1st Team All-Big 12.

Offensive Breakout Star: Trever Ryen will have a touchdown catching, running, throwing and returning a punt.

Defensive Breakout Star: JaQuan Bailey will live up to the hype.

Breakdown of Season: Campbell will come away one game shy of a bowl. The team will play most teams close, but will ultimately be hurt by our lack of depth. He will shock the world with a top-25 recruiting class.

GIF to Culminate the Season:

Kevin Fitzpatrick

Biggest Key for Success: No more injuries and the offensive line not being a total disaster.

Overall Record: 4-8

Conference Record: 2-7

Offensive Team MVP: Allen Lazard gets way more targets this year and cements himself as one of the top receivers in the league.

Defensive Team MVP: Brian Peavy, who sticks on receivers like gum on the bottom of my shoe.

Offensive Breakout Star: David Montgomery emerges and gives Iowa State a great running back combo between him and Mike Warren.

Defensive Breakout Star: JaQuan Bailey shows why he's projected to get PT as a freshman.

Breakdown of Season: Year one of the Campbell era is a step in the right direction for game day performance and culture of the program, but the depth and overall talent just isn't there yet for ISU to truly compete.

GIF to Culminate the Season: (ISU training and getting better, but the results don't mean much yet)

CloneTeach

Biggest Key for Success - Touchdowns. It sounds obvious, but ISU won't have enough margin for error to settle for field goals. Their red zone touchdown percentage will go a long ways toward determining their success this season.

Overall Record: 4-8

Conference Record: 2-7

Offensive Team MVP: Mike Warren. It's a boring pick, but he just might be the best back ISU has had since Troy Davis.

Defensive Team MVP: Kamari Cotton-Moya. Sometimes you don't know how important a player is until they are off the field. I feel like that has been the case with Cotton-Moya. You the real MVP, Kamari.

Offensive Breakout Star: Carson Epps helps out in the red zone and takes advantage of defenses who are focusing on Lazard and Warren.

Defensive Breakout Star: D'Andre Payne, which is not to be confused with Deandre Kane, although if we are comparing them at the end of the season I think it will be a good thing. The Tennessee transfer should be fun to watch the next couple of years.

Breakdown of Season: What if? Unfortunately, I think it will be a season full of "what ifs?" for Iowa State. At the end of last year I thought this team would make a bowl game. With off-season departures and injuries I think ISU will have just enough talent to keep it close in a number of games but not enough to close the deal. Get your nut cups ready.

GIF to Culminate the Season:

52 Trap

Biggest Key for Success: The running game – it frees up our receivers, takes pressure off of Lanning, and keeps big play offenses off the field.

Overall Record: 7-5

Conference Record: 4-5

Offensive Team MVP: Mike Warren. It has to be Warren.

Defensive Team MVP: D'Andre Payne, he will show the potential he had coming out of high school and be the X factor in an improved defense.

Offensive Breakout Star: Chase Allen. I think he may redshirt as I believe the tight end will do more blocking, but if we are committed to involving the tight end, I think he is a match-up nightmare and will show that Terry Allen can coach and reproduce with the best of them.

Defensive Breakout Star: D'Andre Payne qualifies here too. He is the key to helping the run defense and will provide flexibility in coverage that should improve things there as well.

Breakdown of Season: Iowa State should have won 6 games last year. We are more talented than we are given credit for. We get a big upset over a ranked team and take care of business at home. The offensive line is a surprise and Campbell's inaugural season is a smashing success with a disciplined team that can make plays. I think Toledo would have been a 7- or 8-win team in the Big 12 last year, and he has similar, if not better, talent across the board at ISU. I drank all the Kool-Aid.

GIF to Culminate the Season:

AMarner32

Biggest Key for Success: Getting some engineering students to develop 300-pound robots with quick feet and great pass protection instincts.

Overall Record: 12-0

Conference Record: 9-0

Offensive Team MVP: Allen Lazard sets Iowa State’s single season records for receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.

Defensive Team MVP: Kamari Cotton-Moya is named first team All-Big 12 after the season.

Offensive Breakout Star: Hakeem Butler emerges as a major red-zone threat and a guy who can stretch the defense.

Defensive Breakout Star: Tymar Sutton steps up to help a weak LB corps and has some huge games.

Breakdown of Season: Coach Campbell leads Iowa State to the CFB Playoff, where the Cyclones win both games by a combined score of 91-3 over Alabama and Rutgers to claim the first national title in school history.

GIF to Culminate the Season:

CYHusker

Biggest Key for Success: Getting actual touchdowns and forcing turnovers.

Overall Record: 6-6

Conference Record: 4-5

Offensive Team MVP: Allen Lazard. Dude does it all, and touches the ball once every 3 downs. First team All-Big 12.

Defensive Team MVP: Brian Peavy. This dude is an absolute beast.

Offensive Breakout Star: Trever Ryen. Ryen will be an all-around stud. Bubble screens, hand offs, moving the chains from the slot position, might even throw a TD or two. And don't forget him in the return game.

Defensive Breakout Star: D’Andre Payne. Staff loves this guy, and he has the potential to be a special player.

Breakdown of Season: The Cyclones will take advantage of a very nice back end of the schedule, and will FINALLY beat K-State, along with West Virginia, Texas Tech, and Kansas.

GIF to Culminate the Season:

Matthias Schwartzkopf

Biggest Key for Success: Turnover margin. Iowa State needs to be better in that department than previous years. Turnovers can turn the tide in any game. Remember Nebraska in 2009?

Overall Record: 6-6

Conference Record: 4-5

Offensive Team MVP: Mike Warren. Brings back glimpses of Troy Davis on his way to 1,750 yards rushing.

Defensive Team MVP: Kamari Cotton-Moya. Picks off a few passes on his way to an All-Big 12 season.

Offensive Breakout Star: Deshaunte Jones. Impressive in camp, will solidify time in the slot and blow the top off of the defenses.

Defensive Breakout Star: JaQuan Bailey. Should be a nice complement to Demond Tucker and give much needed pass rush up front.

Breakdown of Season: Drink the Kool-Aid kids. 6-6 with a couple of close losses that make us say "what if?" We should see a much more disciplined team out there that doesn't make those mental mistakes that have doomed us in the past. Fans, get the Natty Lights out. Should be fun.

GIF to Culminate the Season:

RevDizz

Biggest Key for Success: Keeping the O-Line healthy and constantly improving with consistent playing time from some healthy linemen for a change.

Overall Record: 5-7

Conference Record: 3-6

Offensive Team MVP: Allen Lazard. Warren won't be able to be himself with a patchwork line and inability to stretch the field. Lazard taking the next step is critical.

Defensive Team MVP: Kamari Cotton-Moya.

Offensive Breakout Star: Darius Lee-Campbell gives the offense a versatile weapon and gets involved in some trickeration.

Defensive Breakout Star: D'Andre Payne helps Iowa State flip the turnover ratio.

Breakdown of Season: I can't bring myself to predict 6 wins, but the extra weeks of practice would do wonders for building on the current foundation and hyped future. I think we see a more prepared, physical and polished team, but just don't have the horses to pull six yet.

GIF to Culminate the Season:

GrappleCy

Biggest Key for Success: Getting at least mediocre play out of the lines.

Overall Record: 4-8

Conference Record: 2-7

Offensive Team MVP: Allen Lazard.

Defensive Team MVP: Demond Tucker.

Offensive Breakout Star: Trever Ryen will finally be utilized correctly.

Defensive Breakout Star: Mitchell Myers. Because why not?

Breakdown of Season: Nothing flashy, Campbell doesn't have a whole lot to work with. But he'll be better about using what he has available to piece together some wins and avoid the baffling losses of the past few seasons.

GIF to Culminate the Season:

Kody Pedersen

Biggest Key for Success: Tom Manning was Football Scoop's National OL Coach of the Year last season at Toledo. He will have to be better this season for ISU to make a bowl game.

Overall Record: 5-7

Conference Record: 3-6

Offensive Team MVP: Allen Lazard will be Option A, B, and C for Joel Lanning. Lazard breaks Lane Danielson's single-season receiving yards record of 1,073 yards.

Defensive Team MVP: Demond Tucker stays healthy and makes things easier for a surprisingly stout defensive line.

Offensive Breakout Star: Trever Ryen completes his transformation into Josh Lenz 2.0, offering big-play ability at the M position.

Defensive Breakout Star: Evrett Edwards provides the stability and depth that last year's secondary never found.

Breakdown of Season: The Campbell era gets off to a rough start with TCU, Baylor, and Oklahoma State on the front end of the Big 12 schedule, but they finish strong with three straight wins to end the year.

GIF to Culminate the Season:

KnowDan

Biggest Key for Success: Manufacture a run game with the patchwork offensive line and hold on to leads

Overall Record: 4-8

Conference Record: 2-7

Offensive Team MVP: Allen Lazard is on another plane in fall camp and will lift the team when defenses key on Mike Warren.

Defensive Team MVP: Kamari Cotton-Moya stays healthy and gets unleashed on opposing offenses.

Offensive Breakout Star: Joel Lanning gets his arm to catch up to his legs and sets himself up for an All-Big 12 season in 2017.

Defensive Breakout Star: D'Andre Payne makes the most of his STAR position.

Breakdown of Season: The team is better in November than in September, but lack of depth keeps them from getting to the postseason.

GIF to Culminate the Season:

HashtagChris

Biggest Key for Success: The offensive line needs to not look like a giant dumpster fire.

Overall Record: 5-7

Conference Record: 3-6

Offensive Team MVP: Allen Lazard needs to get the ball thrown his way 12 times a game. His success opens everything else up for Mike Warren and Joel Lanning.

Defensive Team MVP: Demond Tucker will actually obliterate people behind the line of scrimmage this year. Bless up, Tha Blessed Kid.

Offensive Breakout Star: It's about time someone figured out how to use Trever Ryen. His versatility lets him break out for a big year.

Defensive Breakout Star: Mitchell Meyers is reportedly fighting for a starting spot. The dude already kicked cancer's ass, so I'm going to guess he can handle this whole football thing.

Breakdown of Season: Matt Campbell and Iowa State fall just short of a bowl berth this season, but all aboard the hype for train for the 2017 season. Choo Choo.

GIF to Culminate the Season:

Now let’s hear your predictions in the comments!