Last week I discussed a pair of “hot takes” for the upcoming 2022 football season for the Iowa State Cyclones... So let's add to that pair, shall we? Here are a couple more Cyclone Football bold predictions for the upcoming season!
Good Special Teams??
FINALLY! A SPECIAL TEAMS COACH! And not just any coach, at that. Iowa State finally went out and got themselves a special teams coach. John Bonamego, formerly the head coach at Western Michigan (where he wasn’t all that successful), has spent 18 years in the NFL bouncing around as a special teams coordinator and, most recently, was a senior coaching assistant with the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.
At the very least, having that backbone to try and hold the special teams together and take the weight off Campbell, or whoever else was trying to lead that unit, I think will result in Iowa State having a good or better Special Teams Unit over the course of the season.
In fact, let’s go a little bit further than that. I don’t have a super concise way of measuring this, but for me, I like to go bold. So let’s take “good” special teams a step further. Iowa State will have a top 4 special teams in the conference. There. I said it. Top 4 in the conference this year. John Bonamego is the second coming of *Googles best ST coordinator of all time* Mike Westhoff.
Okay. Maybe got a little bit carried away there. So be it. I said it and I’ll stand by it. Now, onto something maybe a bit less bold due to the fact that it’s something the Cyclones have done under Campbell, but maybe that’s evened out by some... lofty... expectations in the most represented state in the conference.
Iowa State sweeps the state of Texas
Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech, and TCU. 4 teams from the state of Texas in the Big 12 conference. My bold prediction for those matchups is that Iowa State sweeps the board. They get Baylor and Texas Tech at home while traveling to the Longhorn state for matchups with Texas and TCU. Texas is a mess with great recruits that can’t get stuff done, last year’s Tech matchup was a ridiculous fluke, and TCU is a middle-of-the-road Big 12 team that Iowa State should be able to beat.
Now we get to the Baylor Bears. Baylor is coming off a 12-2 season with a Big 12 Title win over Oklahoma State and a Cotton Bowl win over Ole Miss. They’ve got a hell of a coach in Dave Aranda and with him running things, I’d expect them to be right in the hunt for a 2nd-straight Big 12 Title.
Like I said last week, there’s something about a Matt Campbell-led team playing with an “underdog” mentality that just gets me super hyped for the season. The Baylor game this year somewhat makes me think of the Oklahoma game in 2017. Maybe not to the extent of us being a 30+ point underdog, but with a new QB getting his first Big 12 start against a massive opponent in the conference (yes, especially given our recent history with the Bears, I’m going to say they’re a massive opponent.)