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Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Before coaching his first game at Iowa State, Paul Rhoads will have to overcome an early high ranking.
My ESPN.com colleague David Duffey has tabbed the Cyclones No. 8 on his initial "Bottom 10" list of the season.
Considering the Cyclones' nation-worst 17-game road losing streak, they are lucky they weren't ranked higher in Duffey's first poll. Iowa State is the second team from a BCS-affiliated conference to be ranked in the poll, trailing only Tennessee.
The Cyclones have a shot at turning around the naysayers when they meet North Dakota State in the Big 12's opening game on Sept. 3.
But if they lose that one, it could really get ugly for Rhoads this season.