1. Why fear the Cyclones? Iowa State has always been good as long as Matt Campbell has been there. His consistency and his ability to build a program has always been really impressive and he made some tough decisions on the offensive side of the ball that he’s hoping will lead to the success they’ve expected. Nate Scheelhaase, the former Illinois quarterback, was promoted as the new offensive coordinator (previously a position coach with ISU), and they also have a new offensive line coach that wants the Cyclones to play with more intensity.
2. The Best Jimmy’s and Joe’s. This is a list of players on preseason All-Big 12 teams. Dekkers getting preseason love along with Brock at running back isn’t a surprise. Should also note that there is an impact player at all levels on defense.
- QB Hunter Dekkers
- RB Jihrel Brock
- WR Jaylin Noel
- OL Jarrod Hufford
- DL Isaiah Lee
- LB Gerry Vaughn
- S Beau Freyler
- CB TJ Tampa
3. Transfer Report. Just a few players were added, running back Arlen Harris, Jr. from Stanford, Zachary Lovett from Missouri at linebacker, and Tobechi Okoli, a defensive end from Auburn. This may be the fewest transfers in the new Big 12 and I sort of expect Harris to be quite significant in terms of impact.
4. Tough to Replace. Xavier Hutchinson and Will McDonald IV were huge players for ISU. McDonald was essentially a Tyree Wilson type of player in terms of impact. The fact that Jon Heacock is returning at defensive coordinator is a big deal and scheme on defense is hugely important. How the offense changes with a new offensive coordinator is also going to be interesting.
Ed Note. This is what I worked on while on flights. I tried not to get too deep because that would be incredibly difficult to do this for 14 teams and I think most of us want a cursory idea of what opposing teams are. I also found the idea of who is transferring in as more important than the freshmen arriving. That’s definitely changed over the course of years. I also thought that knowing who is being replaced is relevant more than most things.