Williams Blog: The 2010 football schedule is a bear

By Chris Williams, Publisher

Enough negativity. I feel like writing about football today. How does that sound Fanatics? I didn’t think you’d have a problem with it.

This blogs stems off of a conversation that I had with a friend last weekend, as to how tough Iowa State’s 2010 football schedule actually is going to be. If you haven’t yet put numbers with the 12 teams on the schedule yet that’s exactly what I am going to do today, courtesy of There was a thread up on about this specific piece a couple of weeks. If you’d like to read what many Fanatics think about the gauntlet, CLICK HERE.

To start things off, know that CFN ranked Iowa State as the 51st best team heading into 2010. I think that is fair. They obviously have a lot of faith in Paul Rhoads when you consider who is on Iowa State’s slate this season. CFN says that a worst-case scenario for the Cyclones in 2010 is a 2-10 record and that Iowa State is probably a 5-7 team. Here is Iowa State’s 2010 schedule, their CFN ranking, along with my brief thoughts on each team.

Sept. 2: Northern Illinois (91) – The Huskies will be the overwhelming pick to win the MAC’s West division in 2010. In fact, some might even pick Northern Illinois to win the MAC championship. Nine Huskies will return on offense. This will be a tough first game for Iowa State, but one that the Cyclones should win.

Sept. 11: @ Iowa (12) – I know. Anything can happen in a rivalry game. This one is no different. But the chances of the Cyclones rolling into Iowa City and winning this are not high.

Sept. 18: vs. Kansas State in Kansas City (60)- I am going to go out on a limb and guarantee an Iowa State victory in this one. Okay…I probably should take that one back but the Cyclones should be as amped up for this game as any all year. After the blocked extra point heard around the Big 12 a year ago, the Cyclones have something to prove in this one.

Sept. 25: Northern Iowa (NR) – No disrespect to our friends to the east, but this should be a cupcake for the Cyclones.

Oct. 2: Texas Tech (29) – I think that CFN has Tech too high in their rankings. So much has changed in Lubbock. Yes, Tommy Tubberville is a quality coach but replacing the great Mike Leach is not going to be an easy thing, especially with a split fan base. After the Leach saga, to me, this went from being a sure thing loss to a toss up, in favor of Texas Tech.

Oct. 9: Utah (23) – Don’t look now, but the Utes are already talking about a BCS berth next season. In order to do that, they’d have to win in Ames. Utah’s non-conference schedule is brutal. In addition to their trip to Iowa State, the Utes will travel to Notre Dame and get Pitt at home. If they indeed do run the table, Utah would deserve to at least be in the national title conversation. Remember that they still will play TCU and BYU in Mountain West Conference play.

Oct. 16: @ Oklahoma (6) – If you’re planning on taking a Cyclone football road trip this year, this probably isn’t the game to go to. Landry Jones will be back at quarterback. I think he’s the real deal. This team was depleted last year by injuries. Bob Stoops is just too good of a coach to have two down seasons in a row.

Oct. 23: @ Texas (3) – Many are picking the Longhorns to win the national title next season. Need I say more?

Oct. 30: Kansas (53) – This is a must-win for the 2010 Cyclones. Taking care of business in the North is essential if this team wants to go to a bowl game. There is no reason that this one shouldn’t result in a victory.

Nov. 6: Nebraska (5) – I understand that Bo Pelini has put together a very talented roster in Lincoln. I’m not here to debate that today. My only problem with ranking Nebraska this high is the fact that they don’t have a proven quarterback at the helm. Besides that, the Huskers do have 10 offensive starters returning. They lose that one guy on the defensive line but the Huskers faithful seem to be confident in his replacement. I’d easily put the Huskers in my top 15. But I believe five is too high.

Nov. 13: @ Colorado (70) – This should be another very winnable Big 12 North game for Iowa State. Hopefully by this point, the Buffs will have given up on the season and Dan Hawkins will be on his way out. I have nothing against Hawkins, but if the team is counting down the weeks till the end of the season, it would make this road trip a lot easier for the Cyclones.

Nov. 20 – Missouri (30) – It is very realistic that Iowa State going to a bowl game could come down to the last game of the season, at home against Missouri. Who would you pick in this one?

Other Notes

– Here is the skinny. According to CFN, Iowa State will take on four top 15 teams in their 2010 schedule.

– Iowa State is the third-ranked team in the Big 12 North, according to CFN.

– Of the 12 teams on Iowa State’s 2010 schedule, eight of them went to bowl games last year. Five of those teams were bowl champions.