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Matt Campbell off to good start at Iowa State

The first six months of the Matt Campbell era at Iowa State have been satisfying for athletic director Jamie Pollard, writes Steve Batterson of the Quad-City Times.

“We thought we were bringing in an enthusiastic, high-character coach with a lot of energy and that’s exactly who he is,’ Pollard told Batterson.

It must be reassuring for Pollard and the Cyclones to find Campbell to be everything they expected.

The change in the Cyclones program has been readily apparent, from a larger social-media presence to increased excitement surrounding the program, but it still will come down to how much success Campbell can have on the football field.

Even with some talented players to build around, it is a lot to ask to expect a return to a bowl game in Year 1 under Campbell. The Cyclones' early schedule -- Iowa State faces road trips to Iowa and TCU before late September-- doesn't do the new head coach any favors and an October schedule that features Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas and Kansas State won't be any easier.

The Cyclones may face an uphill climb to make a bowl game, but if Campbell instills his vision for the program we could look back on 2016 as a key year for the program.