Williams Blog: Cyclones embrace tough 2010 schedule

By Chris Williams, Publisher

Have you heard this yet?

Iowa State’s 2010 football schedule is brutal.

In fact, some people are calling it the toughest schedule in the Big 12.

There’s a good chance that the Cyclones will take on four preseason top 10 teams this fall, with three of those games being on the road.

2010 Schedule (Teams bolded are likely preseason top 10s’)

Sept. 2 – vs. Northern Illinois (some consider the Huskies the MAC favorite)
Sept. 11 – @ Iowa
Sept. 18 – vs. Kansas State (in Kansas City)
Sept. 25 – vs. Northern Iowa
Oct. 2 – vs. Texas Tech
Oct. 9 – vs. Utah (a probable preseason top 25 team)
Oct. 16 – @ Oklahoma
Oct. 23 – @ Texas

Oct. 30 – vs. Kansas
Nov. 6 – vs. Nebraska
Nov. 13 – @ Colorado
Nov. 20 – vs. Missouri

From now on, instead of using the word schedule, I refer to this masterpiece listed above as “the gauntlet.”

So this is whom the Cyclones have to play. What do Paul Rhoads and his staff think about it? Surprise, surprise. It’s already been talked about with the players.

“The first team meeting and the first Monday of classes to start this semester I reminded them of how difficult the schedule was going to be,” Rhoads said in this week’s Big 12 teleconference. “We without a doubt will be underdogs in over half of our games next season. By some it has already been rated the toughest schedule in the Big 12. I want them to be aware of that.”

Oh they’re aware of it. Everywhere you look, fans, media, etc. are brining up the gauntlet.

“I also want them to embrace that,” Rhoads said. “We aren’t going to change it. The administration is not going to buy out of it. We are going to play these teams and we need to be prepared and ready to play these teams.”

Here’s a little bright news for you Fanatics. Enough of this talk about how good everybody else is going to be. Regardless of the fact that Iowa State has to replace seven starters on the defensive side of the football, Rhoads is brimming with confidence because of his team.

“We are going to be a better football team in 2010 than we were in 2009,” Rhoads said. “We better be because we are going to be playing overall, a better schedule and tougher teams.”