Doc 5: College football teams that could learn from their Sweet 16 counterparts -- No. 3 Iowa State

Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads,, center, watches as Baylor kicks a extra point in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

This offseason we will count down various topics from Monday through Friday, bringing you the top five of the important and definitely some not so important issues in college football. It's the Doc Five, every week until we will thankfully have actual games to discuss.



Iowa State basketball is in rarified air.

Only three other times in the school’s history – since the field was bumped to 64 teams – have the Cyclones played in the Sweet 16. The last time was 2000. That was also the year the Cyclones made their longest tournament appearance, climbing all the way to the Elite Eight.

Fortune has not often been kind to Iowa State in basketball. Even though it’s appearing in the NCAA tournament for its third consecutive season, it had gone the previous seven years without a trip to the Big Dance.

The Cyclones football team can relate.

Iowa State was 3-9 last season and hasn’t had a winning record since 2009. In fact, that Insight Bowl-winning year represents the only winning season the Cyclones have had since 2005. Iowa State hasn’t won more than seven games since 2000.

Sadly, the Iowa State football team doesn’t have a lot of star power in its history like the basketball team does. But what the football team can learn from the basketball team is that transfers can help. And running a high-powered offense can help. A quick and dominant offense is the only way to get by in the Big 12 – in football and basketball – and Iowa State football is now leaning in that direction.

With new offensive coordinator Mark Mangino in place, Iowa State will no longer huddle and all plays will be called from the line of scrimmage. And while Cyclones head coach Paul Rhoads didn’t want to give away too much of his new offense, it will have several veterans running it.

Iowa State will return two of its top three leading rushers, two of the three leading receivers, most of the offensive line and both quarterbacks from a year ago.

Could a veteran team and a change of pace be the key to a successful season? It worked for the basketball team, we’ll see if the football program can follow suit.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter