Can Iowa State maintain its success without its former star players? Or will the Cyclones drop in the Big 12 standings?
Our final team to predict in the Big 12 conference is none other than the Iowa State Cyclones. Before the 2022 season, the Cyclones best Big 12 and overall record came in 2020 (9-3 overall, 8-2 in Big 12). The decline came in 2021 when the Cyclones finished 7-6 overall and 5-4 in conference play. Now, the Cylones have lost the talents of Brock Purdy and Breece Hall to the NFL. Iowa State is now on the cusp of a major rebuild or another middle of the pack season. That being said, let’s check out the Iowa State Cyclones schedule for 2022.
Week One, Home Game vs Southeast Missouri
Iowa kicks off the season with the expected non-conference game that will end in a win. Iowa State needs to figure out their identity as a team without Breece Hall, Brock Purdy and more. However, the new starting quarterback, Hunter Dekkers is a protégé of sorts. He spent a year behind the best quarterback in Cyclones history and that is more than enough to become something special for head coach Matt Campbell. That being said, this new identity Cyclones team will easily win in week one, no doubt about it.
Score Prediction: ISU 42, Southeast Missouri 10
Week Two, Away Game vs Iowa
After an easy week one win, the Cyclones go essentially down the street to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in the yearly rivalry game. Unfortunately, the Cyclones are not going to be nearly as competitive in 2022. The Hawkeyes also have plenty of questions marks as well which is why this game will be another low scoring game for the ages. With both teams looking to figure out their roster still, this game will come down to a final possession. But sadly it will not be the Cyclones who come out on top. Iowa will have the last possession and break the Cyclones heart in the 2022 version of this rivalry.
Score Prediction: Iowa 21, ISU 17
Week Three, Home Game vs Ohio
After a heart breaker in week two, the Cyclones finish their non-conference schedule against Ohio at home in Ames. This will be another comfortable win for Iowa State and one final chance against a non-Big 12 opponent to figure out their roster and big fixes. This will be the perfect game to do so as I like the Cyclones to take care of business at home.
Score Prediction: ISU 34, Ohio 14
Week Four, Home Game vs Baylor
If this was a Brock Purdy led Cyclones, this would be a huge game to kick off conference play. However, the 2022 Cyclones will not be that team. With this game being in Ames, it will allow the Cyclones to stick around far longer than Baylor would like. However, Baylor is the favorite to repeat as Big 12 champs and this version of Iowa State will not be the one who ruins their season early. I like Baylor to go on the road and win a big road matchup early into Big 12 play.
Week Five, Away Game vs Kansas
The first away test in conference play will be a road trip south to take on the Jayhawks. KU will likely not be a very good team in 2022. That being said, I still think KU has the team to really hang around in more games this year than ever before. Sure hanging around and losing means nothing in the end, but hey take it with a grain of salt. I like Iowa State to win a close game that should not be close, does that make sense? The Cyclones will want to forget this win quickly with a tough stretch of games ahead.
Week Six, Home Game vs Kansas State
With Iowa State not being the dominant 2020 team, K-State has a chance to now go into Ames and win a big game in week six. I like K-State to be the better team in many areas compared to the Cyclones. K-State will beat ISU simply because they will have more experience and talent on the field. This will be a close one again but it won’t end well for Iowa State.
Week Seven, Away Game vs Texas
The next big test for Iowa State is a road game down in Austin against the Longhorns. The Longhorns are going to be a good team in 2022. This makes a road game on their turf a tough one to confidently take Iowa State. With Texas having a more locked down roster, I like the Longhorns to win this one at home in dominant fashion. This will be an eye opener for Iowa State with a tough home game against the Sooners looming.
Week Eight, Home Game vs Oklahoma
I hate to sound like a broken record but once again, the Cyclones different roster will prove unhelpful. Oklahoma is my favorite to win the Big 12 in 2022 and that is bad news for Iowa State. The Sooners will allow the Cyclones to hang around but in the end, the Sooners have the better roster. OUs talent will prove to be ready to defend their home field and win this one.
Week Nine, Home Game vs West Virginia
With the tough stretch of games behind them, ISU returns home to take on the Mountaineers. In my West Virginia prediction piece, I only had them winning three games the entire season. Unfortunately, this is one of those games despite it being in Ames. West Virginia is fully prepped to ruffle feathers no matter what their record is. Give me the Mountaineers to play spoiler in this home game for ISU.
Week Ten, Away Game vs Oklahoma State
The Cyclones then go back on the road to take on Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are yet another big time contender in the Big 12. Iowa State by this point will be no threat in the Big 12 standings. With Oklahoma State likely competing for a Big 12 title, here is the perfect time for a trap game folks. This will be a tall task for the Cyclones but I’m going to take ISU in an upset on the road. I might be crazy here but hey that is why it is a theoretical prediction, sue me.
Week Eleven, Home Game vs Texas Tech
After a huge road win, ISU heads back home to host the Red Raiders of Texas Tech. The Red Raiders will also be a team struggling to find its footing in the Big 12 in 2022. However, Texas Tech also has the pieces and recipe to beat anyone if they want to. This will be another close game but Tech will be able to get it done. This will be a tough loss to cope with considering Tech might not be winning very many games in 2022.
Week Twelve, Away Game vs TCU
To close out the 2022 season, ISU goes on the road to take on TCU. Both teams will be competing for pride by this point so this will be an ugly game. Both defenses will play well but the offenses will struggle. Turnovers might be abundant in this game and TCU will just finish with less than ISU. Do not tune into this game unless you are a die hard Cyclones fan I guess.
Score Prediction: TCU 24, ISU 17
Final Record For Iowa State Football In 2022-23: 4-8 (2-7)
With so many question marks for Matt Campbells team in 2022, I see this being a down year. This will be one of the only down years Campbell will deal with. Maybe a bad season will be what Campbell and company need to bounce back in the Big 12. This roster just needs time to figure out who they are without Purdy and Hall. Until then, I do not see Iowa State being a legitimate threat in the Big 12.
Which Big 12 team will improve the most in 2022? Comment below and join the discussion!
Check out the rest of the conference’s predictions here!