ClonesCountry on Instagram wrote this article which ranks the strengths of the Cyclone's opponents who remain on the schedule for 2020. Follow ClonesCountry here:
This great article features insights into the Cyclones opponents and why the Cyclones will do well or potentially struggle with the opposition. Due to the uncertain times, the schedule could change, but for now, here are the Cyclones 11 opponents ranked from easier to hardest (Iowa has already been removed):
11. South Dakota
The Coyotes went just 5-7 last year in the FCS and that’s why theyre on the bottom of this list.
The Rebels have a new name in town, former Oregon offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo is the new head man in Vegas. He’ll have a tough job to do as the Runnin Rebels have only made 1 bowl game in this last decade and have not had a winning season since 2013.
The Jayhawks were a sneaky good team last year even though they went 3-9. They had 3 games where they only lost by 1 possession and played a great game vs iowa state while only losing by 10. They’ll have to replace a lot on defense but the offense returns a great core of WRs and one of the best running backs in the big 12, pooka williams. Jayhawks will have a QB battle between Thomas Macvattie, and Miles Kendricks.
8. Texas Tech
Last Year Texas Tech went just 4-8 while losing 4 games by 1 possession. The Red Raiders return QB Alan Bowman after he was banged up last year. They also lose their best player on defense Jordyn Brooks who was a first round pick to the Seahawks. The Red Raiders had the worst total defense in the power 5 last season ranking 127th in the FBS. Iowa State has also beaten this team for 4 straight years and this game is also at home.
7. West Virginia
Like Kansas, West Virginia will most likely have a QB battle going on. Austin Kendall and Jarrett Doge will be the contenders for that job. West Virginia’s offense really wasn’t that great last year as they only averaged about 73 rushing yards per game. They also lose a lot on defense. This game is also at home.
6. Kansas State
Wildcats return senior QB Skylar Thompson and a solid defense. Kansas State’s biggest weakness is the offensive line and Iowa State’s defensive line should have a big day vs this inexperienced Kansas State offensive line. Keep in mind this game is also in Ames. Iowa State’s offense should be good enough to rip through the wildcat defense considering the Wildcat defense will be on the field most of the night if Iowa State’s D Line has a field day.
Baylor surprised a lot of people last year and went 11-3. But this year will not be the same. Baylor loses a ton on defense but has hired a new coach an Dave Aranda. Aranda is one of the best defensive minded coaches in all of college football. They return QB Charlie Brewer who is one of the best QBs in the big 12 that returns targets Tyquan Thornton and RJ Sneed at WR.
TCU had a very disappointing season last year going 5-7. TCU loses a lot of talent including first round picks WR Jalen Reagor and CB Jeff Gadley. They also a big piece up front in Ross Blacklock. However, TCU had a great offseason landing 5 star RB Zach Evans and Landing LSU transfer Marcel Brooks at LB. Max Duggan was a solid QB last year considering he was a freshman and he’s only going to get better. This game is on the road and will be a tough game for Iowa state with fans or no fans.
The 2019 big 12 champs Oklahoma loses lots of big time pieces on offense including QB Jalen Hurts, WR CeeDee Lamb, and RB Tray Sermon. But, OU will reload with Spencer Rattler at QB. Rattler was a very highly talented recruit coming out of high school. OU’s defense improved last year as it was in the upper half of the conference in total defense. This game is at home for Iowa State and revenge is certainly on Iowa State players minds after the way Iowa state lost last year. The inexperience will get to Oklahoma this game vs a very experienced Iowa State team.
2. Oklahoma State
Like Iowa State, the cowboys are a very experienced team and are one of the most experienced teams in the country returning all of their defense and one of the best QB-RB-WR trios in the country in Spencer Sanders, Chubba Hubbard, and Tylan Wallace. This will be a very tough test for the Iowa State defense as this offense will be one of the best offenses mike Gundy as ever had. This game is also at Stillwater which is a tough place to play.
Iowa State has to play in Austin on Sam Ehlinger’s senior night. Texas returns one of the best QBs in the country in Sam Ehlinger but he loses 2 of his top pass catchers in Devin Devurnay and Collin Johnson. Devin Devurnay will be a tough one to replace but Sam Ehlinger brings back Brennan Eages and Jake Smith who Are both upcoming stars for the Longhorns. Texas might have to lean on the run a bit more than the pass as they bring back one of the best RBs in the big 12 Keontay Ingram and they bring in 5 Star RB Bijan Robinson. Texas offense ranked 14th in total scoring last year. Texas defense will definitely be a weakness as they ranked 97th in total defense last season. Most of that was due to injuries but the other was poor coaching as they now bring in former Rutgers head coach Chris Ash as their new defensive coordinator. Both defenses will have to step up if they want to win this game.