Kansas Gridiron: Good cop

Chris Wolff

A 1-2 start to the season has many ISU fans hitting the big, red panic button and chalking this season up as another disappointment, but there exists at least one glaring positive: the Cyclones next opponent is Kansas.

This would not be so comforting if it were basketball season, but, when it comes to football, Kansas is downright awful. And that’s putting it nicely.

If there is one Big 12 opponent a team wants to see when trying to turn around a season, it’s Kansas.

The lowly Jayhawks did beat the just as lowly Cyclones 34-14 in Lawrence last year — after which the KU fans stormed the field — but another ISU loss is unlikely.

The Cyclones, despite their 1-2 start, are vastly improved, and, well, Kansas is not.

This is a team that has lost to South Dakota State, Memphis and Rutgers this season, whereas Iowa State has lost to Iowa and Toledo, both of whom are on the cusp of breaking into the AP top-25 rankings.

While Iowa State’s record is not encouraging, it’s important to note that the Cyclones played well against a 3-0 Iowa team until falling apart in the final quarter and should have beat a 3-0 Toledo team if not for a wide-sailing, last-second field goal attempt.

Even more comforting for the Cyclones is that they get to play Kansas at home, which is a huge advantage as Kansas is even worse when it’s on the road. Kansas has lost 31 straight road games. That’s six years worth of haplessness outside of Lawrence.

The last time Kansas won a road game was in 2009, when the Jayhawks were a top-25 team and fresh off a bowl victory. That’s a distant memory now.

Iowa State will have revenge on the mind after last year’s loss to Kansas and will want to right the ship before getting into the meat of the Big 12 schedule.

ISU quarterback Sam Richardson will finally get his first win as a starter against a Big 12 team, albeit the worst one, and Iowa State will rock chalk the Jayhawks back to Kansas, keeping the Jayhawks on pace to a zero-win season.

Prediction: Iowa State 37, Kansas 21