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Get To Know The Conference - Iowa State

I spoke with Vegas Cyclown of Wide Right Natty Light about the upcoming ISU season. He gave us a quick look at who the team lost, gained or got back and told us what exactly the team needs to win.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State hasn't had a particularly hard time beating the Iowa State Cyclones on the football field for a while now, holding a 28-18 all time record. However, the 2011 loss in Ames seems to be on the brain of every Cowboy fan since though no game between the two has been closer than 17 points.

I spoke with Vegas Cyclown and he gave us some insight on the Cyclone camp.

Returning Players

  1. Allen Lazard - very high ceiling, big body, consistent target
  2. Sam Richardson - continuity at QB
  3. Quenton Bundrage - deep threat, lots of promise before injury
  4. Kamari Cotton-Moya - 2014 Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year

Leaving players

  1. Tom Farniok - MVP of offensive line
  2. Jevohn Miller - most active Linebacker
  3. Cory Morrissey - only player that could provide pressure on the defensive front

Incoming players

  1. Mike Warren - 3 star RS Freshman RB. We need all the help we can get at this position.
  2. Demond Tucker - fills big gap in middle on defense
  3. Jordan Harris - redshirted last season after a very successful JUCO career at LB

1) ISU has had a tough go at things lately but the fans seem to never stop supporting and keeping Ames as a tough trip for any Big 12 team. How do they do it?

Iowa State has historically struggled to be competitive on a football field, so recent performance is nothing new to long time Cyclone fans such as myself. I won't speak for all of Cyclone Nation, because that would be presumptuous, but I am apparently a masochist at heart. I have had opportunities, since birth, to choose a more relevant sports team but have stuck with the Cardinal and Gold from an early age. It may be a genetic condition or stem from a desire to be slightly different than the majority. Or, it could just be Iowa fans, even to a 7 year old me, come off as a douchy segment of Iowa's society and that doesn't line up very well with my personality.

Whatever the reason, we Cyclones remain a passionate, loyal and dedicated group that habitually believes things are going to be fine.

We also drink a lot, which helps with the losing.

2) What needs to happen for ISU to get on its feet and start winning regularly?

Confidence. The team needs to win its early schedule and carry that swagger into conference play.

Also, oil money.

3) What offseason position battle could have the biggest impact on the season?

Running back, if only because we need someone, anyone, to step up and ‘pound the rock' this fall.

4) What are the strong spots for the Cyclones this year? Weak spots?

Strong - Wide Receiver, Defensive Back, Turf Management program

Weak - Running back, Defensive Line, Linebacker

5) What player do you think has the best chance to be a breakout star for ISU this year?

Jake Campos - I'm going to go a little against the grain with this pick and choose the other 4 star Iowa native on the Cyclones' roster. Jake came in as a highly touted lineman, backing out of his commitment to Missouri to play closer to home, and was forced into action last season as a redshirt freshman. He wasn't exactly ready early on, but improved as the year progressed and having that season behind him should allow for a solid sophomore campaign. We will absolutely need that to happen if our offense is going to have any firepower.

6) What needs to happen for ISU to win more than six games this year? What do you think is the final record?

Simple. We need to score more points than the opponent in at least six games.

I'm not in the same "tire-fire" camp as most everyone else in Cyclone Nation. Realistically, I see 3 games we absolutely should win, 2 more games we optimistically could win and an additional 2 we possibly overachieve our way to victory. The only sure-fire-absolute-mark-it-down-now loss is Oklahoma because those guys are just dicks.

So, anywhere from 3-7 victories depending on how much single malt I've consumed prior to evaluating the schedule - my current prediction is after winning the Big XII, we play every SEC team on the same day, beating them all and going 23-1! It was a good bottle.

7) OSU has had a rough time with ISU lately. OSU is also being hyped up a lot this offseason. Does a trip to Ames spell doom for the Cowboys again if they are undefeated or threatening for the Big 12?

Unless you're including basketball in this discussion, you may want to take another look at Oklahoma State's performances when playing the Cyclones over the past seven seasons. Iowa State is 1-5 against the Cowboys since 2008, losing by an average margin of 26.8 points during that run. Not exactly stressful.

Yes, 2011 happened, and perhaps the freshness of that wound prevents OSU fans from fully appreciating the lack of competitiveness in this matchup, but I'm not certain you statically have anything to worry about during your November visit this year.

Except for cold weather.

8) Finally, who wins the game between OSU and ISU if it were played tomorrow in Ames?

Probably Oklahoma State.

We haven't even started practicing yet.

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck, especially against the Sooners. Afterward, we should grab a drink.