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2013 Iowa State
Schedule and Odds
Even without an overly exciting squad, Paul Rhoads continues to churn out six-win seasons for the Cyclones. While 2012 wasn't great by any means, Iowa State managed big wins at TCU and against Baylor which were key in getting them a bowl game.
As far as the big picture goes, the BCS Title, oddsmakers don't give the Cyclones much of a chance. They are listed at odds of 500 to 1 at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
Quarterback Sam Richardson will look to build on last year when he started the final three games of the season. While he struggled mightily against Tulsa in the bowl game, it was just his third career start. With a full offseason under his belt, and hopefully an improved rushing attack, Richardson will hope to provide the consistency no Cyclone QB could do last year. Their backfield has a trio of options with last year's leaders in James White and Shontrelle Johnson, but also the speedy JUCO transfer Aaron Wimberly. The receiving core takes a hit, but top tight end Ernst Brun Jr. is back and he'll be vital as he tied the team lead with six TDs last year. The Cyclones have plenty of experience on the line which should help as they make a switch to the pistol formation.
Unlike previous years, the defensive side may be the problem for Iowa State as only five starters are returning with a couple All-Big 12 linebackers on their way out. The Cyclones tend to be average on defense every year, never terrible, but never all that great. If they can keep that up, another bowl game should be in their sights. An experienced secondary can help against some of the pass-heavy teams in the conference.
2013 Iowa State Football Schedule
Aug. 31 vs. Northern Iowa
Sept. 14 vs. Iowa
Sept. 26 at Tulsa
Oct. 3 vs. Texas
Oct. 12 at Texas Tech
Oct. 19 at Baylor
Oct. 26 vs. Oklahoma State
Nov. 2 at Kansas State
Nov. 9 vs. TCU
Nov. 16 at Oklahoma
Nov. 23 vs. Kansas
Nov. 29 at West Virginia
Home games with two fellow Iowa schools is a good way to start the season off and are good tests for the new offense, especially against the Hawkeyes. Tulsa will be a tough task on the road as the Golden Hurricane will have the confidence from last year's bowl victory.
The Cyclones start Big 12 play against a Texas team on their way up. After losing 33-7 to the Longhorns last season, it's going to take a major effort to win that game against such an experienced squad. A five-game patch in the middle of the schedule will determine their season. A stretch of Baylor, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, TCU and Oklahoma will undoubtedly be tough, but OK State and TCU will be at home. One win in five of those games would be considered a step up.
To finish out the season, wins over Kansas and West Virginia will likely be needed for them to reach that sixth win. The only chance for them to get there would be if the new offense can consistently move the ball. With their options at QB and RB, they definitely have the capabilities.
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