National “experts” pick Iowa State football for ninth in Big 12, Cyclones basketball for last

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So Iowa State’s been hit with a triple-dose of non-respect. USA Today’s website predicts Matt Campbell’s football team will finish ninth in the Big 12. pegs Steve Prohm’s basketball team at last — and Jerry Palm goes so far to say the NCAA Tournament streak ends at six.


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Lists like that drum up interest, spur conversation and, ahem, generate internet clicks. Nothing more, nothing less.

We all do it. I’ve done it — especially during coaching searches.

Fred Hoiberg and Jeff Hornacek were among the suspects to replace Greg McDermott.

Lincoln Riley, Dino Babers, P.J. Fleck, Scott Frost and Tom Herman were on our list of potential replacements for the job Paul Rhoads once held. (Sometimes we swing and miss.)

More from Randy Peterson:

Lists are informative. They entertain. They even provide glimpses of who might be available for specific jobs.

Who’s the new Drake athletics director?

Brian Brown, Brian Hardin and Chris Makris (in alphabetical order) would make a dandy finalists list, but again, that’s just one person’s thoughts while sitting in the office on what looks like a gorgeous summer morning.

Lists provide snapshots of national perception — where Cyclones major sports programs rarely fare well.

“We’re Iowa State,” all-Big 12 receiver Allen Lazard told me during Big 12 Media Days. “We’re used to it.”


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Remember a couple months ago when Athlon Magazine rated Big 12 quarterbacks — and had Jacob Park ahead of only Kansas’ Peyton Bender?

“It’s because he goes to Iowa State,” Lazard continued. “It’s just a matter of fact that Iowa State doesn’t get that same respect, (and) it’s well-deserved (because) what we’ve done in the past few years — we haven’t had the success, especially at the quarterback play.”


Iowa State’s junior quarterback isn’t listed among Big 12 quarterbacks to watch this season, and while his coach acknowledges the starting QB still has “areas to continue to grow in,” Campbell’s “really proud of what he looks like right now.”
Randy Peterson / The Register

Fans, I’ve seen and heard, are most concerned with the basketball team being picked for 10th, which hasn’t happened around Iowa State since Hoiberg’s first season in 2010-11. That, by the way, was the only time the Cyclones’ men’s team finished last since the Big 12 replaced the Big Eight before the 1996-97 season.

When you return just 9 percent of your scoring from the previous season, lose four starters, and must replace a point guard that was a second-round NBA draft choice … 

Don’t expect much summer love, but rock bottom in the 10-team league?
Regardless of the roster transformation, that shouldn’t happen at Iowa State. Ever.

The football prediction is acceptable national opinion. It’s even expected, given Big 12 finishes of ninth, ninth, 10th, seventh, ninth and eighth the previous six seasons.

The national media see bottom-line results. When a program’s won only a dozen of 54 conference games since finishing tied for third in 2010 …

Feel fortunate that Kansas is in the league.


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Iowa State has the second longest Big 12 bowl drought, big time questions with the defensive line and plays in the only Power Five conference in which everyone opposes everyone during a season.

Ninth place?

Maybe, although seventh seems attainable, but again …

Big whup. It’s August.

Iowa State columnist Randy Peterson has been with the Register for parts of five decades. Randy writes opinion and analysis of Iowa State football and basketball. You can reach Randy at or on Twitter at @RandyPete.


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