Every year, the Iowa State Cyclones rise up at home and dominate a team that on paper should roll over them. They become unbeatable in Ames and always find some top Big 12 team to trip up on their way to a conference title or BCS berth. Last year, it was the Baylor Bears who fell prey to the Ames Curse, falling 35-21 before finishing the year as one of the hottest teams in college football. So who is primed for an upset in 2013 on their way through Ames?
Paul Rhoads and the Cyclones certainly have an excellent slate of home games to choose from. This season, Iowa State hosts the Texas Longhorns October 3, Oklahoma State Cowboys October 26 and the TCU Horned Frogs November 9. ISU will likely be the underdog in each of those games as all three programs have the talent to take a run at a conference title in 2013.
If one of them is going to slip up and let Iowa State shock the world again this fall, my pick would be Oklahoma State. The Pokes have plenty of negative energy associated with Ames already following their double-overtime loss to Iowa State the last time they played there when the Cowboys were ranked No. 2 in the country. That loss knocked Oklahoma State out of the national championship picture and caused a relatively excellent season to be tainted with disappointment.
This season, they return to the scene of that disappointment and Mike Gundy needs to make sure his team doesn’t take this contest lightly. Oklahoma State will travel to Iowa State after opening their Big 12 schedule with the West Virginia Mountaineers, Kansas State Wildcats and TCU Horned Frogs. Three consecutive tough games leading up to lower-tier Iowa State could be a recipe for a trap game.
Beating Oklahoma State for the second time in three seasons would be a major boost to the Iowa State program and to Rhoads’ credibility as the man to turn the Cyclones around. Can he get the job done against the high-powered Pokes and keep the magic of Ames, Iowa, alive for another season?
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