The results were similar, but at least the Iowa State Cyclones were competitive in a handful of defeats last season, giving fans a sense that something better is about to take place in Ames. ISU ended the season with a 3-9 record for the second straight year and for the third time in the past four seasons, missing out on a bowl game each time. But the Cyclones actually have some upside heading into 2017. It’s not high enough to challenge for a Big 12 title, but getting over the three-win peak and participating in a bowl game for the first time since 2012 would be a start.
2016 Record: 3-9 SU, 7-5 ATS, 8-4 O/U
2017 Regular Season Win Total: 4.5
National Championship Odds: +200000
Odds To Win Big 12: +14000
Getting better as the year progressed was a clear sign that the Cyclones were improving under first-year head coach Matt Campbell. There was a stunning loss to FCS Northern Iowa in the opener that had many wondering if the young coach was the right man for the job. Blowout losses to Iowa and TCU followed leaving the Cyclones at 0-3.
ISU got in the win column with a 44-10 spanking of San Jose State. Not the strongest opponent, but we could have said that about Northern Iowa too. One possession losses to Baylor, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma in Big 12 action proved that what Campbell was doing had a chance to be successful. The Cyclones just needed a few wins to validate the process. ISU got them late in the season with a touchdown victory over Kansas as a 10-point favorite. The Cyclones then blasted Texas Tech 66-10.
Campbell found his quarterback in Jacob Park and the offense played at another level after he replaced Joel Lanning. Park started the final five games throwing for 1,322 yards in that span with eight touchdowns and only three interceptions. The Cyclones averaged better than 33 points per game and went 2-3. There are too many holes for the Cyclones to compete with the better teams in the league, but there are solids that should have ISU reaching for bowl eligibility.
After the Cyclones hung close in several games and actually won a few down the stretch, the excitement level around the program is as high as its been in some time. They were competitive against the stronger teams in the league and now it’s time for the progress to result in victories. ISU should improve on its win total, but how much depends on the development of the key players.
The spotlight will shine brightest on Park and receiver Allen Lazard, who opted to return to Ames instead of entering the NFL Draft. There are plenty of quality receivers in the Big 12 but Lazard could be the best of the group. At 6-5, he has the size and speed that gives defensive coordinators nightmares. Lazard had 69 receptions for 1,018 yards and seven scores in 2016 and should improve on those numbers with Park getting him the ball. The backfield is also loaded with Mike Warren and David Montgomery, giving the Cyclones the balanced attack that’s been missing.
If they can piece a defense together reaching six wins is a given. The group was awful last year, ranking near the bottom nationally against the run while surrendering over 31 points per game. The line was overhauled with JC transfers and if those players contribute, we will see the Cyclones bowling for the first time in five years.
Week 1: Iowa State vs. Northern Iowa, Saturday, September 2
Week 2: Iowa State vs. Iowa, Saturday, September 9
Week 3: Iowa State at Akron, Saturday, September 16
Week 4: OFF
Week 5: Iowa State vs. Texas, Thursday, September 28
Week 6: Iowa State at Oklahoma, Saturday, October 7
Week 7: Iowa State vs. Kansas, Saturday, October 14
Week 8: Iowa State at Texas Tech, Saturday, October 21
Week 9: Iowa State vs. TCU, Saturday, October 28
Week 10: Iowa State at West Virginia, Saturday, November 4
Week 11: Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State, Saturday, November 11
Week 12: Iowa State at Baylor, Saturday, November 18
Week 13: Iowa State at Kansas State, Saturday, November 25
|SEC Conference||Big 10 Conference|
|ACC Conference||Big 12 Conference|
|Pac 12 Conference||Big East Conference|
You aren't going to find yourself in much better position if by the time your handicapper puts his predictions out for the weekend the lines have been pounded and the value is gone.
So no matter if you are a big or small bettor, you can get your NCAA Thursday Night football betting action in as soon as possible.
Looking for Free College Football picks online? - Look no farther.
Every week we'll choose a few games and preview them, give you the college football betting trends, make a free prediction and NCAA football odds on each game, and who you should be putting your money on.
Whether or not you should bet the moneyline or make a bet with or against the college football spread.
Make sure to share the college football information you gained here at Gamblers Palace with your friends by clicking on the Facebook Like bar at the top of this article.
Sports bettors have never had it so good thanks to the latest range mobile sports software that are designed to keep you abreast of all the sports betting action.
At Gamblers Palace our mission is to provide you with a reliable guide to best sports gambling applications available today.
NCAA Football Specials: NCAA Football Sportsbook Bonus
NCAA Football Odds: Live NCAA Football Betting Odds
Sports Betting Help: How to bet on sports
Sportsbook Rules: The Sports Betting Rules
Sports Betting deposits: View NCAA Football Deposit options