Iowa 2015 – 2016 Football Season Preview

Iowa may not have an official NFL presence to speak of, however they have a few college football teams to keep their adrenaline pumping. The Hawkeyes and the Cyclones are the two prominent teams in the state, and NFL fans from Iowa have a few neighboring state teams to devote their loyalty too. Following is a preview of the most popular football action in Iowa and what you can expect to see from these teams this season.

Iowa Hawkeyes 2015 Football Season Preview

The Kirk Ferentz era has been marked primarily by the ability of the Iowa Hawkeyes to stay competitive within the Big Ten. However, after a few down years, Ferentz's status has begun to be questioned in some quarters, an unthinkable concept just five years ago.

Coming off a 7-6 season and an appearance in the 2014 Tax Slayer Bowl, Ferentz needs some sort of jumpstart, but only brings back eight starters from last year's squad. One relatively new face will be at quarterback, with C.J. Beathard set to take over. Beathard has a strong arm and showed some leadership last year, but if he goes down with an injury, Iowa is in deep trouble.

The Hawkeye running game will be handled primarily by senior Jordan Canzeri and junior LeShun Daniels, but because Canzeri has problems staying healthy, others will need to step up. The key receivers will be Tevaun Smith at wide receiver and Jake Duzey at tight end, with that duo accounting for nearly 1,000 yards of offense last year.

Iowa always seems to put together a solid offensive line, but that might be difficult for the 2015 season with both tackles having departed. The defensive line also has prominent holes it needs to fill. Weakness at linebacker and in the secondary was evident in the 2014 bowl game when Tennessee shredded the Hawkeyes for close to 300 yards rushing. The main culprit was missed tackles, so fundamentals will likely be stressed during training camp. Given the shaky status of some units, Iowa should consider itself lucky if it reaches six wins and makes a 2015 no-name bowl game.

Iowa State Cyclones 2015 Football Season Preview

Two years into head coach Paul Rhoads' tenure, and all Iowa State has to show for it is a 5-19 record. In 2014, the team was unable to win any Big 12 games, and the outlook for 2015 might not be that much better. Sam Richardson will be behind center for the Cyclones after throwing for 2,669 yards and 18 touchdowns. He can also run, but offensive coordinator Mark Mangino is hoping he and the team's receiving unit can elevate the entire offense even more.

Those wideouts are led by Quenton Bundrage, who returns after blowing out his ACL in the first game of 2014. There's also 6-5 D'vario Mongomery and Alan Lazard, both of whom made strong contributions last year. The emphasis on passing is because there's not much to recommend with the running game, with Tyler Brown and Mike Warren the top candidates to see the most action.

On the offensive line, just staying healthy would offer a huge boost to the team. Due to those injuries, plenty of players have gotten their feet wet, so the hope is that this will translate into success for the 2015 football season.

Disaster would be a good word to use for the Cyclones when it came to defense in 2014, but the line will have nose tackle Demond Tucker arriving from junior college this season in the hopes of improving this area. Linebacking also appears to be weak, with Jordan Harris set to handle things in the middle.

However, the secondary is the strength of this unit, with both cornerbacks, Sam E. Richardson and Nigel Tribune, coming back. At safety, Kamari Cotton-Moya was the conference's Freshman Defensive Player of the Year in 2014.Improvement won't be difficult won't really be that hard for Iowa State, but staying healthy is the main component to making that happen.

Betting On Iowa Football Teams

I made a lot of money last year betting on the unders with Iowa and the overs with Iowa State. However if you are going to partake in some legal Iowa online sports betting, I would caution betting the unders in 2015. At least until they are a few games in and you know how the defense is shaping up. I am still going to roll with the overs in Iowa state games until it stops working.

NFL Support From Iowa Football Fans

Even though no NFL team calls Iowa home, the league does have plenty of fans in the state. Of course, those individuals simply love football, but their allegiance when it comes to the pros tends to be split in three directions.

The Minnesota Vikings are close enough for most Iowans to consider them their team, but the greater success of the Green Bay Packers in the past few decades has helped reshape the state's fan base. Finally, a much smaller group support a Missouri teams: either the Kansas City Chiefs or St. Louis Rams.