There will be lots of chatter about how an “off” week will affect Iowa State’s football team.
After dropping its season opener, ISU has an extra week to practice before hosting Iowa.
Is that a good thing? History indicates that the impact of a bye is hard to predict. Dating back to 2000, the Cyclones have a 6-7 record in games after a scheduled bye weeks.
The biggest victory in school history (vs. #2 Oklahoma State in 2011) came after an off week. ISU had beaten Kansas the prior game.
Iowa State last entered a bye week after a loss in 2008. After dropping a 34-31 decision at UNLV, the Cyclones lost to bowl-bound Kansas, 35-33, after the extra week of prep.
One of the odd things about the bye this week is that it comes in week two. That’s rare. The last time an ISU schedule included a bye in the second week was 1956 when the Cyclones won at Denver (13-10) in the opener and then suffered a one-point defeat at Northwestern two weeks later.
Considering the game preparation skills that Coach Paul Rhoads and his staff are known for, I would suggest the extra time will be put to good use.
For the next two weeks, people will try to substantiate their beliefs on why the bye has come at a good or bad time. The answer won’t be known until Iowa visits on Sept. 14.