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WRNL Predicts The 2021 Football Season

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We are so close.

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Oregon vs Iowa State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jared Zieser

What Makes or Breaks the Season- Special Teams Play

Overall Record - 15-0

Conference Record - 10-0

Offensive Team MVP - Brock Purdy

Defensive Team MVP - Will McDonald

Offensive Breakout Star - Joe Scates

Defensive Breakout Star - Will McDonald

Breakdown of Season - Bama who? Clemson who? OU who? Ohio State who? You get the point. Clones by a million.

GIF to Culminate the Season -

Aiden Wyatt

What Makes or Breaks the Season- The receivers need to take a step forward in order to keep teams on their heels. Finding a guy after Hutchinson is the key, he’ll make plays, who’s after him?

Overall Record - 12-2

Conference Record - 8-2

Offensive Team MVP - Brock Purdy; gimme a 4k season with 30+ TDs.

Defensive Team MVP - Mike Rose

Offensive Breakout Star - Joey Scates

Defensive Breakout Star - TJ Tampa

Breakdown of Season - Matt Nelson goes full circle in the first quarter of the UNI game. After that, all gas no breaks.

GIF to Culminate the Season -

Matthias Schwartzkopf

What Makes or Breaks the Season- Nothing. We break the season.

Overall Record - 15-0

Conference Record - 10-0

Offensive Team MVP - Brock Purdy

Defensive Team MVP - Will McDonald

Offensive Breakout Star - Jalen Noel

Defensive Breakout Star - TJ Tampa

Breakdown of Season - Shock the world. Put some respect on the name.

GIF to Culminate the Season -

Levi Stevenson

Overall Record - 12-2

Conference Record - 8-1

Offensive Team MVP - Brock Purdy. I know Breece Hall exists, but I’ve said before that Brock Purdy’s play sets the ceiling on this team. Breece Hall is gonna do what Breece Hall does, just like he did last season. Brock Purdy clocked in with an overall solid season after a rough start, but there’s still some untapped productivity left in his game. Consistency has been the biggest bugaboo for him. Resilience has never been in question, and it’s still important because mistakes happen, but Iowa State will be better off if Brock can mitigate those low valleys. I think Brock takes that step forward and the offense reaches new heights.

Defensive Team MVP - Mike Rose. The most consistent Cyclone of the Matt Campbell era will continue to be such, leading the defense and paving the way for his fellow linebackers and the defensive backfield to be successful and be the backbone this team needs to have to reach their highest goals. He can cover, rush the passer, and stop the run, and is one of the most important defensive players in college football.

Offensive Breakout Star - Jaylin Noel. The hype keeps building around Jaylin, and all signs keep pointing to him not just getting snaps this season, but challenging for a spot in the starting eleven before the end of the season. He’s as dynamic as any skill player on the roster, and may be forcing his way onto the field sooner rather than later.

Defensive Breakout Star - TJ Tampa. I know he’s a fairly well-known name at this point and he got playing time last year, but I think this is the season we see TJ push forward and take over that second cornerback spot, essentially eliminating the last remaining weak spot in the defense.

What Makes or Breaks the Season - As I alluded to earlier, Brock Purdy sets the ceiling for this team. If he’s largely pedestrian and continues to make stupid mistakes and start seasons slow, Iowa State is probably a 9-3 team. However, if we see him take that next step forward and become essentially a dynamic game manager or better, then the CFP playoff is in reach as the Cyclones take advantage of a more dynamic offense that opens up more space for Breece and is able to punish teams with downfield passes more frequently.

Breakdown of Season - Are we going to see another slow start? I don’t think so. Even if the Cyclones aren’t perfect, they’re dramatically more talented and athletic than the UNI team that’ll be visiting Jack Trice, which struggled a bit in their short spring season earlier this year. Does mean I’m not terrified of UNI? Absolutely not. Next up is CyHawk, and I think this will be Campbell’s first victory in the series, as Iowa struggles to move the ball against the stout Cyclones defense, and Breece Hall makes the Iowa defense wish they hadn’t made the trip.

After a comfortable win in Vegas over UNLV, Iowa State rattles off a couple more wins to begin conference play, and ranks in the top five for the first time in program history as Oklahoma State comes to town. Campbell takes care of Gundy’s Cowboys in somewhat comfortable fashion as OSU is still trying to find their stride of offense and the Cyclone running game breaks down the defense late in the game. After a nail-biting road win in Morgantown, Iowa State welcomes the Longhorns to town for a pivotal home matchup, maybe the last for Iowa State and Texas.

Texas looks comfortable early in the game as Hudson Card is able to scramble around a little bit and hit Bijan Robinson underneath for some gains after the catch. However, Jon Heacock has different plans, and bottles up the Texas QB in the second half, and hands Steve Sarkisian in first and (likely) last trip to Ames as the Texas head coach. So long, ‘Horns.

The Cyclones then head to Lubbock and dispatch a Texas Tech that’s floundering as Tyler Shough is still struggling to meet expectations and Matt Wells appears to be on his way out the door. Next week, our guys head to Norman undefeated with a chance to lock up a berth in the conference championship game, though the game is largely meaningless in the CFP playoff picture. It’s a tight game throughout, but Spencer Rattler finds Marvin Mims deep down the sideline late in the fourth quarter to put OU in field goal position. Gabe Brkic drives home the kick and Iowa State takes its first loss of the season.

For the final game of the regular season TCU comes to town in third place with two losses, but a chance to make it into the conference championship game on a tiebreaker with a win. However, destiny is not in favor of the Frogs, as Breece Hall methodically breaks down the defense, and Max Duggan spends the entire game running for his life. ‘Clones by 10 and onto Arlington.

The Big 12 Championship game gets a ton of attention, as one-loss Iowa State is likely playing for a berth in the College Football Playoff as Oklahoma has essentially secured their spot already. Oklahoma gets out to a fast start and carries a 10 point lead into halftime. In the second half, the Cyclone defense starts locking up but Oklahoma is maintaining unusually long drives and eating time, as Iowa State has to grit and grind for every yard and point. Ultimately, Iowa State falls by a touchdown to eventual national champion Oklahoma, just missing the playoff.

All is not lost though, as Iowa State heads down to New Orleans to take on Texas A&M in the Sugar Bowl. The crowd is more even than most expect, with Cyclones traveling in droves to the Superdome, but A&M fans still count as the majority. Unfortunately for them, Iowa State is a far more experienced team that’s playing for a lot of pride and some extra rep as conference realignment talks fire up again in the offseason. Breece Hall finishes with 137 yards and three touchdowns and Charlie Kolar and Jaylin Noel tack on two more touchdowns on the way to a 35-24 win for Iowa State for their second consecutive NY6 bowl win.

GIF to Culminate the Season-

Jake Brend

What Makes or Breaks the Season- Consistency from Brock Purdy, defensive backs, and special teams. Obviously, consistency will be important for every player and position group, but it is emphasized in these areas because of how one mistake can cost a season. Purdy can be the Heisman front runner, but one bad read at home against TCU could cost Iowa State a trip to Dallas. The defensive backs can contain Spencer Rattler for an entire game, but a single-blown coverage on 3rd and long could be a season-altering play. And special teams, well, are special teams. Missed field goals and extra points are excruciating blows no matter what.

Purdy is the most decorated quarterback in school history, by a wide margin, he’s shown up in some big games and delivered when the team needed him the most. But he’s also had some stinkers in games that should’ve or could’ve been won (i.e. Oklahoma State 2019.) Either way, this team won’t need Purdy to be a superhero to win games. With weapons like Breece Hall, Charlie Kolar and Xavier Hutchinson, the offense will already be elite, he just has to make smart decisions and be the steady Purdy he has been for the majority of his career.

For the defensive backs or the cornerbacks in specific, it’s the same story. Despite being a solid group, the defensive backs are easily the part of the defense that opposing teams will want to pick on the most. Anthony Johnson Jr. will have his side of the field locked down, so opposing teams will look at TJ Tampa, Datrone Young and Tayvon Kyle in single coverage to try and break down the defense. What Jon Heacock will need from them isn’t a bunch of flashy interceptions or pass breakups, but instead consistent solid coverage while limiting big plays. If this group of corners can stall a quarterback for a second or two more than last season, that will allow Iowa State’s veteran defensive front seven to put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Special teams, please make kicks, punt it far and straight, don’t fumble punt returns and please for the love of Johnny Orr, kick some touchbacks. If special teams aren’t a negative, that’s a positive.

Overall Record- 12-2

Conference Record- 7-2

Offensive Team MVP- Breece Hall. The best running back in the country resides in Ames. Hall was just one spot away from New York last year, but this year he won’t miss out on the Heisman party. Not only is Hall noticeably stronger and faster in fall camp, but the offensive line should also be the best in the Campbell era. It’s crazy to think that Breece could be even better than he was in 2020, but he will be.

Defensive Team MVP- Mike Rose. He’s been the leader of the defense since his freshman season, he’s still the leader, but he’s much better now. Rose will probably lead the team in tackles, record a few sacks and have a game-winning interception in a big game. Rose is clutch, consistent and is the anchor of the defense.

Offensive Breakout Star- Jaylin Noel. Rumors from fall camp are saying that this true freshman wide receiver will be competing for snaps right away in the slot. According to Jared Stansbury on his podcast Football and Random Things, Noel is a more shifty receiver who can break a big play from a side step juke. I predict by the end of the season, Iowa State will have a clear-cut slot receiver for the next four years.

Defensive Breakout Star- Zach Peterson. This guy has already been solid throughout his career. He started in place of an injured Jaquan Bailey in 2019 and played in every game last season, but I would expect Peterson to take a big step forward this season. He’s not going to completely fill the void of Bailey, but he will draw enough attention to free up lanes for the linebackers, eventually leading to more overall pressure from the defense. He probably won’t get recognized enough, but Peterson will play a huge role in the defense’s success if he breaks out.

Breakdown of Season-

Northern Iowa: This game will scare me no matter what until the day I die, and I probably won’t sleep the night before, but I don’t think Campbell and co. will overlook the Panthers this time. I think the Cyclones win 35-14.

Iowa: The team out east isn’t as dominant or deep in the trenches as we are used to seeing, and their quarterback play isn’t as good as the last time we saw them either, but Kirk Ferentz still has enough devil magic to make it a close game. I think the Cyclones will exercise the demons in a 24-20 thrilling win.

UNLV: We beat them 63-0 and then steal their coach on our way out of town (oh wait, we already did.)

Baylor: This game worries me more than it should because Baylor should be improved from 2020, but Iowa State won’t be caught off-guard by that. The Cyclones trail this one at halftime but win 27-17 in the Sahara Desert.

Kansas: What are we, Texas? Of course not, Iowa State will win this game, probably 52-17.

Kansas State: I hope I’m wrong, but this feels like a trap game in a place that Iowa State hasn’t won in since George W. Bush’s first term. Again, I hope I’m wrong, but the Wildcats clips us 27-24.

Oklahoma State: This is finally the year where Matt Campbell takes down Mike Gundy in Jack Trice Stadium. As long as Isheem Young stays in the game and Brock Purdy plays smart, Iowa State is the far better team. Cowboys leave Ames with a loss by a score of 42-31.

West Virginia: Halloween weekend in Morgantown smells like moonshine and burnt couches, and that feels like trouble for Iowa State. Nonetheless, a veteran Iowa State team escapes against an up-and-coming Mountaineer team, 28-17.

Texas: This could be the angriest Iowa State crowd ever, and I think that plays in favor of the home team. I have a suspicion that this game is really close at halftime, but the Cyclones distance themselves in the second half behind a historic game for Breece Hall. Iowa State makes it three in a row over the Longhorns(down) in a 31-21 win.

Oklahoma: Every single game between these two teams since 2017 has been instant classics, and I would expect this one to be no different. I bet Oklahoma will get up by two touchdowns early, the Cyclones battle back, but OU wins in a shootout to cement their spot in the Big 12 Title game, 42-38.

TCU: A must-win for Iowa State on Black Friday in black uniforms seems like a lock for Iowa State. The Horned Frogs give Iowa State a run for their money, but I think the weather plays a big factor in a convincing Iowa State win, 34-20.

Big 12 Championship: In the biggest game in school history and the last Big 12 Championship as we know it now, Iowa State will be extra motivated to come out on top. I think we see fewer big-game jitters than we did in 2020, and Iowa State wins the rematch over the Sooners 31-30.

Sugar Bowl: Thanks to a disappointing loss in October, Iowa State doesn’t make the College Football Playoff, but they still win the biggest Bowl Game in school history over Georgia because they never wanted to be there anyway. At least, that’s what the national media will say. Iowa State closes out the Brock Purdy era in style with a 28-14 win in New Orleans.

GIF to Culminate the Season -

David Braga

What Makes or Breaks the Season- Brock. Purdy.

It’s no secret Brock Purdy is a tremendous quarterback, but with the previous season comes this year’s expectation. He’s soundly a veteran and a profound leader of the team. The other guys do their part, but the QB is the glue that holds it together.

Overall Record - 12-2

Conference Record - 8-1

Offensive Team MVP - Heisman Trophy Winner, Breece Hall

Defensive Team MVP - Isheem Young

I know this defense lives and breathes through #23 right there in the middle... but after getting tossed in the Big 12 Championship Game, Isheem Young is taking ZERO prisoners this year. The man is on 1 mission and 1 mission alone.

Win.

Offensive Breakout Star - Easton Dean

Defensive Breakout Star - TJ Tampa

Breakdown of Season - The Cyclones run through their non-con behind the wheels of Breece Hall. Some Big 12 teams provide some good challenges (TCU and OkSt) but ultimately Campbell and the boys pull through. They run the Longhorns out of town as the Jack Trice crowd lets the visitors hear it for a full 4 quarters. OU gets the best of us toward the end of the season as our lone loss, setting up another top 10 match-up in the Conference Championship Game. OU has 1 too many tricks up their sleeve and comes away with another Big 12 Title, squeaking out a 3 point win.

Iowa State bounces back rolling over whoever they play in a NY6 bowl as their Sooner counterparts roll their way to a National Championship.

Alas, the greatest Cyclone team in the schools history is only bested by the team that takes home the championship title. Because, well, it just makes too much sense, doesn’t it?

GIF to Culminate the Season -

Austin Keeney

What Makes or Breaks the Season- Consistency all across the board. This team has basically played two full seasons together already. We know what they’re capable of. So do the players. The key to meeting expectations will be to stay within ourselves and not have any slip ups. Iowa State is well past the stage of sneaking up on teams. We’re going to get everyone’s best shot. If we play up to our potential, we’ll win a lot of games.

Overall Record - 11-3

Conference Record - 7-2 (2nd in Big 12)

Offensive Team MVP - Breece Hall. The Fiesta Bowl was the blueprint for how Iowa State wins games. The Cyclones suffocate opponents as the best running back in college football continues to churn out yards. He takes the pressure off the rest of the offense to make plays, but he’ll have his fair share of breakaway runs as well.

Defensive Team MVP - Mike Rose. I’m going to stick with the man in the middle. The All-American will continue to anchor the defense and allow others to make plays around him. I would expect less interceptions this year, but the defense should be fantastic under his watch.

Offensive Breakout Star - Jirehl Brock. Now let’s be real. We won’t have 2 all conference running backs this year. But Jirehl came in with as much regard as a recruit as Breece Hall did. This is the year he finally sees the field consistently. And the 6-8 touches per game he receives will make a huge difference to lighten the load on Breece, and he’ll have some spectacular broken tackles along the way.

Defensive Breakout Star - TJ Tampa. It’s tough to identify a breakout guy on a defense with so many contributors back, but what’s not to love about a long, freakishly athletic corner? TJ earns more playing time this season as he continues to learn the position.

Breakdown of Season - Iowa State sweeps the non-conference slate without much trouble, highlighted by a convincing win in the CyHawk game as Spencer Petras isn’t up to the task against this defense in his first true road start. Somewhere along the way, we get tripped up in a surprise conference loss. The team rallies to take a 9-1 record into Norman with CFP hopes still alive, but in a repeat of last year’s Big 12 Championship game, the Sooners win on the strength of their defense. We handle TCU at home to bring home a 10th win for the first time in program history. In the Big 12 Championship, the Clones hold a lead in the 4th quarter before Oklahoma rallies back to clinch a playoff bid. At 10-3, Iowa State grabs a NY6 spot and beats a less-than-motivated SEC team in the Cotton Bowl. The Big Ten extends an invite along the way (here’s where I hope).

GIF to Culminate the Season -

Matthew Nelson

What Makes or Breaks the Season- As the guys from the Solid Verbal say: “Win your clunkers”. Iowa State is going to play some games that don’t go according to plan. I don’t think they’ll happen early, but I can envision them coming against TCU or Oklahoma State. The Cyclones are not perfect and most likely won’t play a perfect season. Great teams win the games where they play C+ or B- football and don’t have it all clicking. Iowa State can win with good execution and B- football. We just need to see it in 2021.

Overall Record - 11-3

Conference Record - 7-2

Offensive Team MVP - Brock Purdy. I want to go a different direction here but cannot justify it. Brock is being doubted (and possibly hated on) by some members of the college football world for his play in 2020. While we know he struggled early in the season at times, Brock certainly played well to close the season. If his growth continues, he takes care of the football, and plays with confidence and that spark we know he carries, he will lead this team to even higher heights.

Defensive Team MVP - Greg Eisworth. Mike Rose or Will McDonald are obvious choices, but Eisworth may be the glue that holds it all together. His leadership will be needed to help eliminate the big play that the defense sometimes gives up, and if Will McDonald draws double teams that require more blitzing, his role becomes even more critical.

Offensive Breakout Star - Shawn Shaw Jr. This wideout has been a favorite of mine, and over his career, he has shown a propensity for getting into the endzone. He also seems to have a good rapport with Brock Purdy. Those factors, combined with added experience, more attention on Kolar/Hutchinson/Hall, and his obvious physical gifts make him a candidate for more targets and explosive plays. Think jump balls ala Hakeem Butler and Allen Lazard.

Defensive Breakout Star - Zach Peterson. This kid is a grinder and works hard, though his contributions haven’t garnered many headlines. He will play a key role for the defense in 2020, especially as Will McDonald draws double teams and holds on every play. He is big, physical, can play the run, and if he generates a solid pass rush, can really elevate the defense this fall.

Breakdown of Season - They say you learn to lose close, win close, and then win big. This is the season where Iowa State finally learns how to win bigger (albeit still not big like Alabama or Clemson). UNI is easily dispatched, and the defense combined with a multi-pronged offensive attack lead to a 17 point victory in the CyHawk game. UNLV is easily steamrolled in Vegas, while Cyclone fans (including CYHusker) drink the strip dry.

The Cyclones get a stiff test from Baylor, but start the season 6-0 reatilivey comfortably with wins over KU, KSU, and Baylor. And then, of course, Gundy ruins Brocktober for all of us once again. Seriously, Mike Gundy has some sort of voodoo magic when it comes to Iowa State.

West Virginia makes the game ugly, but Iowa State manages to win its clunker thanks to solid offensive line play and Breece Hall punishing defenders. The Ass Man makes a 34 yarder late in the 4th quarter to secure a 10 point win in Morgantown.

Iowa State absolutely roadhouses Texes in Ames the following weekend in front of a rowdy and raucous crowd. Brock Purdy tosses 3 TDs and runs for another, and the defense forces 3 key turnovers in what is Texas’s last visit to Ames. Texas Tech is then feasted upon before the Cyclones play a competitive game in Norman before falling late by a touchdown, as the improved OU defense does just enough to stymie the Cyclone offense.

The Cyclones close the season with another clunkerish game against a much improved TCU squad. Charlie Kolar catches 3 touchdown passes, Brock runs for another, and the defense comes up with two second half INTs to seal the win.

Another heartbreaking loss awaits in the Big 12 Title Game, though there is no shame in that, as Oklahoma wins the playoff and takes home the national title. Iowa State gets Georgia in the Sugar Bowl and plays a knock down drag out football game before coming out on top 21-17.

GIF to Culminate the Season -

SMDEE

What Makes or Breaks the Season- Can the Cyclones live up to expectations and follow the same formula as last year to have a chance at the Big 12 Title? Iowa State will have to deal with pressure no team in school history has dealt with. No longer the perennial underdogs, this team will get the best shot from everyone they face. Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers says it best: “Tattoo on the lower back? Might as well be a bullseye.”

Overall Record - 11-3

Conference Record - 8-1

Offensive Team MVP - Breece Hall might be the “best” player on offense, but Brock Purdy will be the difference maker this year. If Iowa State wants to get back to the Big 12 Title and potentially make a run at the playoff, Purdy will have to be smart with the football. Last year, Purdy ranked eighth-to-last in turnover worthy play rate while under pressure (according to PFF), but ranked fourth in the FBS in negatively graded throw rate while in rhythm. Clean up his decision-making under pressure and Brock will further cement his status as the greatest player in Iowa State history.

Defensive Team MVP - Here’s a stat for you (courtesy of 247sports): Will McDonald’s FBS-best 10.5 sacks last year came while he played less than half of Iowa State’s snaps on defense. While benefiting from lining up across from Jaquan Bailey most plays last year, McDonald will have a chance to “prove” himself this year as the focal point of the opponent’s offensive line. Oh, and McDonald will be the all-time leading sack leader after this season, too (8.5 away from breaking Bailey’s 25.5).

Offensive Breakout Star - Jirehl Brock. The Former 4 Star Running Back from Quincy, IL who had offers from Notre Dame, Northwestern, Michigan State, and OutbackBowl-U, will have an increased workload of the offense as Iowa State decreases Breece’s 279 carries from a year ago as well as 4th Round Pick Kene Nwangnu’s 60 carries. Iowa State will lean on the best offensive line in the Modern Era and will release this bowling bowl of butcher knives on defenses that will be sucking air after trying to tackle Boobie Miles 2.0.

Defensive Breakout Star - Howard Brown. I don’t even care that these highlights are of him as a QB. Get this man in the game. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIsZiOYunto

Breakdown of Season - After a shockingly easy win against the Northern Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State loses a nail-biter to Iowa yet again as Brian Ferentz clogs not one, but two, locker room toilets on the way out of town. UNLV proves to be no problem on the field, but Vegas gets the best of Cyclone fans, and half of our fans don’t end up attending the game. The Las Vegas Gaming Commission pays off UNLV and Iowa State to make sure this matchup happens again, and the Clones end up returning in 2035, 2036, and 2037. Baylor, Kansas, and Kansas State are all pushovers as Jamie Pollard spends most of the 2nd half telling their AD’s that the Big 12 is “super safe” as he simultaneously texts B1G and Pac 12 “u up” over and over again.

Oklahoma State proves to be a problem, but the Clones find a way to win a close one. Iowa State rolls through Morgantown the following week and sets up a game against the Longhorns that turns out to be the ugliest game of the season. Iowa State wins 45-0. Most of the Iowa State players get food poisoning in Lubbock the next week but the 2nd stringers manage to beat the Red Raiders by two touchdowns. The Clones lose by 21 to OU in Norman as Coach Campbell elects to call plays using “Ask Madden” to avoid giving anything away for the rematch in the Big 12 Title Game. TCU then comes to town and gives Iowa State a massive scare, before Assalley ices the game with a 20 yarder as time expires.

In the Big 12 Championship, Iowa State manages to put together a complete game but ultimately bows out late to the Sooners. The Cyclones are uninvited from playing in the Sugar Bowl after Jamie Pollard is arrested for egging Greg Sankey’s house.

GIF to Culminate the Season -

Dylan Coon

What Makes or Breaks the Season- “The margins”. No just kidding, this season is about handling expectations, staying healthy, and winning the games we need to win. We can’t afford to have a hiccup to West Virginia, or Baylor this year. If we lose to Oklahoma, sure they’re really good. But good teams have to beat bad teams in order to stay good.

On the health front, we’re actually probably the deepest we’ve been in a long time. However, being deep doesn’t exactly mean having All-Americans lining up behind other All-Americans. If some of our stars go out, I’m worried, especially because of the importance of our star’s positions. Quarterback, running back, edge rusher, and linebacker. Those are all pretty vital in modern college football.

Expectations, ooooooh boy. The hype is real. I think all Iowa State fans would rather be the plucky underdog that people overlook. Regardless of what ESPN, CBS Sports, and whatever other numbskulls are out there, no one is going to put it into coast mode when Iowa State comes to town. Teams are going to be gunning for us. We have a target on our back, but on the other side of that coin, we have a target because we’re really f’n good.

Overall Record- 9-4

Conference Record- 7-2

Offensive Team MVP- Breece Hall, duh? I mean that dude looks like he ate a 1980’s WCW superstar for breakfast and inherited his muscles. Breece got YOKED. I would rather get hit by an actual truck going 40 mph instead of trying to tackle Breece Hall with a full head of steam. I think he could go on another 100 yards per game streak. We will go as far as Breece Hall and this defense takes us, which can be, pretty far.

Defensive Team MVP- Mike Rose. This one was a little closer. Will McDonald could be a household name in 4 months. Will is super talented, but this seems like Mike Rose’s defense, and Will McDonald is our most valuable weapon. Mike Rose is Tim Duncan, Will McDonald is Kawhi Leonard on the 2014 Spurs team, (yes I’m aware Kawhi actually won the Finals MVP, but it’s the best analogy I could think of)

Offensive Breakout Star- These are getting harder when almost the entire offense is coming back. Can a 4 year quarterback even have a breakout season? I’m gonna go with Chase Allen. I think we’ve seen incredible flashes in his game, but he’s always been in the shadow of bigger and better offensive threats like Breece Hall and Charlie Kolar. I still think Charlie will be our best tight end, but I could see Chase Allen being our 2nd, and easily 3rd best pass catcher.

Defensive Breakout Star- Second year’s the charm. I still have a mind-blowing amount of TJ Tampa stock, and I’m not selling it yet. TJ Tampa might have some more opportunities in the secondary. His polish and skill is still being questioned, what’s not up for debate, is his speed and athleticism. I would love to see TJ Tampa on special teams if he can’t find a regular spot on Heacock’s defense. Also, if he wants to come dunk on Big 12 basketball this winter, I think Otz should give him an open invitation to do so.

Breakdown of Season-

Northern Iowa: 38-10. Silly Purple Hawks. UNI is coming off of a super short off season, and on top of that, not a great 2021 spring football season. They are in the SEC of the FCS, MY Bunnies being the crown jewel of the conference last year, damn you Sam Houston, but the Panthers were not good. I think, FOR ONCE, Iowa State starts the season red hot and we handle the Panthers.

Iowa: 14-3. Ugly, slow, brutal, violent, nasty, mean, all of those words ending in a 14-3 defensive showcase. Matt Campbell has decided to not die a hero, and become the villain by basically adopting Iowa’s well known playstyle. Run the ball, bend don’t break defense, and like two big plays a game. It’s a winning formula. Also, I kind of hope it rains and is just a muddy mess. Cyclone State, Campbell takes the monkey off his back.

UNLV: 1,000,000-0. Legends will be told about when Iowa State fans sieged the city of Las Vegas. That city better start stocking Busch Light ASAP, cuz the people are COMING. The Strip will be swarmed by the Cyclone fateful, and we are going to decimate the Runnin’ Rebels by approximately one million points. Hopefully, making UNLV’s crazy cat lady take a twitter hiatus.

Baylor: 28-17. GIVE US TENTS YOU COWARDS!!!

Kansas: 70-0. We should have Snoop Dogg line up in the slot in the 4th quarter, and let him get a touchdown late. Because we can.

Kansas State: 48-0. Shit-canned. Also, don’t look now but we’re 6-0 and probably ranked in the top 5, unless there’s 6 SEC teams ranked ahead of us.

Oklahoma State: 31-20. This is our first scare. The Cyclones get off to a slow start, but are able to take control late. They never lose their composure, something we should expect from a senior led team. Matt Campbell gets a rare win against, some bad juju history with the Cowboys.

West Virginia: 28-24. AHHHH! You ready to stress non-stop from start to finish? Well I give you West Virginia, CFP talk is beginning, Breece Hall is amidst his Heisman campaign and those Mountaineers are keen to ruin it ALL. But they don’t and we win.

Texas: 10-0. I want so much snow, and ice, and coldness. I want Jack Frost making snow angels in the endzone. I want polar bears in the god damn tailgating lots. I want it to be so cold that the football is just a frozen block of ice. Again, give me ugly football, that I can’t even watch because there’s too much snow and sleet in front of the camera lens.

Texas Tech: 42-14. I don’t remember the last time we had a close game with Tech, we get in and out of Lubbock quicker than a Chris Beard coaching career. Roll Clones.

Oklahoma: 35-38 in OT. Well let’s set the table here. Both teams could easily be undefeated coming into this matchup, and a CFP appearance is probably on the line, well for Oklahoma. We’ll probably have to beat Oklahoma twice, and even then ESPN will just shun the Big 12 because they’re a bunch of FRAUDS. Oh we lose by the way, OU is really good. Like I think they might-win-the-CFP-this-year type of good. So. Bummer, yeah.

TCU: 17-21. We kind of forget how to play football after an emotional loss. TCU is good enough to beat us if they catch us sleeping, and that’s exactly what happens. Also, I think TCU is in Big 12 Championship contention all year, but luckily they lose to OU, and two other teams early in the season that they probably should’ve beat.

Big 12 Championship: 36-42. Oklahoma, those god damn Sooners. They beat us again, in another close game, that’s gonna come down to the last drive. They’re gonna get some calls late, we all know this show. It’s going to suck, I’m going to turn my phone off. I won’t get on twitter for a week, I’ll probably be crying.

Sugar Bowl: 17-24. I hope I’m wrong, because if we lose the last 4 games after we start 10-0 that’s gonna suck. But a lot of our best players could very well opt out because of the looming NFL draft. I don’t like when players do that, but it’s in their best interest and every team deals with this. I think we put up a good fight, but whatever SEC team is playing us is going to be very good. But hey, at least we got 10 wins? right? RIGHT!?

GIF to Culminate the Season -

Jacob England

Jacob England

What Makes or Breaks the Season- Brock Purdy. If he plays what we think he can do and consistently then they will be a very dominant team. BUT if Brock does not stay consistent and take care of the football, then I could see them losing a game or two that is close.

Overall Record - 11-2

Conference Record - 7-2

Offensive Team MVP - Breece Hall. This guy is an absolute monster. With the line that Iowa State has, plus Trevor Downing back in the lineup, Breece could have an even better season than last year.

Defensive Team MVP - I have to go with my man Mike Rose. It was such a hard pick because this defense is stout but he is always there to make a play. I don’t think I see too many plays where Mike Rose was not there.

Offensive Breakout Star - Joe Scates. I believe this is the year that he finally breaks loose and unleashes on the field. The thought of him catching 60-yard touchdowns gives me chills. He is a dawg and people will find out soon enough.

Defensive Breakout Star - TJ Tampa. I’ve been hearing that this guy is extremely athletic and is understanding the cornerback position. With Anthony Johnson and TJ out there, it’s going to get hard for teams to pass on Iowa State.

Breakdown of Season - Last year was one of the best seasons that Iowa State has ever had in football and I don’t see them stepping on the brakes. Having Iowa, Oklahoma State, Texas, and TCU at home is going to really help us. If Brock Purdy stays consistent and our team picks up where they left off after the massacre that they did against Oregon, then this team will be a force that will be hard to stop.

GIF to Culminate the Season -

Sam Phillips

Overall Record - 11-2

Conference Record - 9-1

Offensive Team MVP - Brock Purdy

Defensive Team MVP - Mike Rose

Offensive Breakout Star - Jirehl Brock

Defensive Breakout Star - TJ Tampa

Breakdown of Season - The season of destroying narratives. CyHawk win, Big 12 champs, a trip to the CFP, Campbell making national media cry more etc

GIF to Culminate the Season -