Athlon Sports projects Iowa State to be a top 20 football team in the country in the 2020 season

Quarterback Brock Purdy attempts to throw a pass against the West Virginia game Oct. 12, 2019 in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Sam Stuve

With two and a half months left before the 2020 college football season begins, national sports media outlets have started to release their rankings of all 130 NCAA football teams and break them down by conference.

Athlon Sports has released its preseason top 25 for the 2020 season and has put Iowa State at number 17.

“A lack of spring practice is a concern for every team, but Iowa State is positioned to navigate these uncertain times with one of the Big 12’s top coaches (Matt Campbell) and a star at quarterback in junior Brock Purdy. Campbell has led the Cyclones to three consecutive winning records in Big 12 play, and there’s no question the program’s established culture will be a huge plus with the limited offseason,” Athlon Sports reporter Steve Lassan said.

Lassan also said “of the program’s six losses last season, four came by seven points or less. With a little better luck in the turnover department (minus-three margin), Campbell’s team could play its way into the Big 12 title game. Oklahoma comes to Ames this season, but the Cyclones have to navigate tough road trips to Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas.”

Iowa State is the fourth-highest Big 12 team out of ten on the Athlon Sports Top 25 rankings, behind Texas at 16, Oklahoma State at 14 and Oklahoma at 4.

Athlon Sports has also released its All-Conference teams for each NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision conference, including the Big 12.

The Cyclones have 17 spots out 111 on the Athlon Sports Big 12 preseason All-Conference teams.

Oklahoma had the most selections on the Athlon Sports Big 12 preseason All-Conference teams with 18.

The 111 players named to preseason All-Conference teams are broken down into four (first, second, third and fourth) teams.

Two Cyclones are on the first team, redshirt junior tight end Charlie Kolar and junior defensive back Anthony Johnson.

Seven Iowa State players are listed on the second team.

Junior quarterback Brock Purdy, sophomore running back Breece Hall, redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Trevor Downing and redshirt junior wide receiver Tarique Milton, redshirt senior defensive lineman JaQuan Bailey, redshirt senior safety Greg Eisworth, junior linebacker Mike Rose and running back/kick returner Kene Nwangwu.

Milton is also listed on the third team as a punt returner along with redshirt senior tight end Chase Allen, junior defensive end Zach Petersen and redshirt junior linebacker O’Rien Vance. 

Rounding out the Cyclones’ 17 selections are redshirt junior center Colin Newell, redshirt defensive end Eyioma Uwazurike and redshirt senior safety Lawrence White, who all were placed on the fourth team.