The 3rd quarter of the season features 1 home game and 2 road games. Before getting into the predictions for the 3rd quarter, here's a recap of how I have ISU doing through the first half of the season:
- NDSU: W
- Iowa: W
- at Kent St: W
- Army: W
- K-State: Close L
- at Kansas: L
As a fan, if ISU does get to 4-2 at this point in the season, I am hoping for 2 more wins. To become bowl eligible would be huge for the team, and perhaps ISU could stop being the butt of so many jokes.
Let's take a look at how I think ISU will fare in Games 7-9:
Baylor: Last year Baylor smoked us, but I argue that ISU didn't show up. There were distractions such as Bates leaving the team, and ISU just didn't show up at all. I think this will be corrected come the middle of the season, and that will make for a better game. This is also a trap game for Baylor. Baylor will be just coming off of playing at Norman, and they will play Oklahoma State in Baylor the week after this game. Playing 2 Big Opponents, plus the players figuring they'd win since they beat us good last year, could play into ISU's hand. I think we may see a less than inspired Baylor team come into Ames during this week. I also hope by this point in the season, our offense is clicking on all cylinders as the players start getting comfortable with the new offensive scheme.
Finally, I am wondering how Robert Griffin will fare this year. I think now that teams have seen a season's worth of film on him, defenses will figure out how to expose him. Baylor will be replacing a LT, LG (Jones only started 1 game last year), and a RT, so naturally there are a lot of questions about their team, especially when many are picking them for the postseason this year.
I look for ISU to avenge it's loss from last year, and for a less than inspired Baylor team to come into Ames.
at Nebraska: Loss. Hopefully a close loss, but that mostly depends on how Nebraska's offense turns out to be. Nebraska is turning the corner, like it or not. Their defense is looking to be pretty good next year. They are probably 2 good recruiting classes away from realistically competing for the Big 12, but I think they may be the best team in the North this year. Playing a more talented team on paper on the road, doesn't go well for us.
at Texas A&M: Loss. A&M beat us last year, despite all of the yards we got and lack of punting we did. College Station is another tough place to play. I realize that it was at A&M when we last won a road game, but I wouldn't bank on it this year. This is another toss up when looking at talent, but with toss-ups, I have to go with the home team.
Overall, that puts ISU at 5-4 (1-4 in the Big 12), and I think Cyclone fans would take that.
Let me know your thoughts!