Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell watches from the sideline during a NCAA college football game in the Cheez-It Bowl against Clemson, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021, at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.
Only three teams in FBS college football will return less production in 2022 than Iowa State.
That’s according to ESPN‘s Bill Connelly’s most recent returning production rankings, released on Wednesday, that slated the Cyclones at No. 128 out of 131 FBS programs, ahead of only Coastal Carolina, Hawaii and Nevada.
Additionally, Iowa State came in at No. 52 in Connolly’s updated S&P rankings for next season with the projected No. 63 offense and No. 47 defense.
Now, obviously, none of this comes as much of a surprise to Iowa State fans after losing some of the most productive players in program history, including quarterback Brock Purdy, running back Breece Hall, tight ends Charlie Kolar and Chase Allen, plus numerous key defenders like linebacker Mike Rose, defensive lineman Enyi Uwazurike and safety Greg Eisworth.
Those seven players accounted for significant portions of Iowa State’s production in 2021, as did safety Isheem Young, who transferred to Ole Miss this semester.
Even knowing those pieces weren’t returning, it was still somewhat shocking to see just how drastic those numbers are with only 37 percent of offensive production (No. 125 nationally) and 43 percent of defensive production (No. 123 nationally) returning next season.
Iowa State’s No. 52 ranking in the S&P placed the Cyclones eighth among Big 12 teams with Oklahoma leading the way at No. 7.
These are obviously just numbers on a spreadsheet as of today on Feb. 10 but speak just how different Iowa State football will look when they take the field for the season opener against Southeast Missouri on Sept. 10.