There will be no easing into things this season for Iowa State and new head coach Kevin Jackson.
The Cyclones have a very challenging schedule, facing five of the top eight finishers from last season’s NCAA Championships, headlined by the Dec. 6 meeting at Hilton Coliseum with two-time defending champion Iowa.
ISU also has home dual meets with Big 12 Conference foes Nebraska and Missouri, which finished fourth and seventh, respectively, at the NCAAs.
Illinois, which took 8th, comes to Ames on Jan. 16 in the teams’ first meeting since the 1963-64 season.
The road schedule is a difficult one, with trips to Cornell, Minnesota, Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Northern Iowa. Cornell took fifth at the national tournament and beat ISU 22-15 at last season’s National Duals.
Jackson’s squad also will compete at the Midlands tournament in Evanston, Ill., and the National Duals, which will be in Cedar Falls for the second straight year.
ISU opens the season Nov. 12 at home against South Dakota State.
All-Americans Jake Varner, Dave Zabriskie, Nick Gallick, Jon Reader, Nick Fanthorpe return. Jackson is putting his guys to the test, which will only make them stronger come March.