The Iowa State Cyclones and Iowa Hawkeyes will meet on the gridiron in 26 days. This year's matchup promises to be one of the most-anticipated in the storied rivalry... especially after today's release of the preseason AP college football poll.

The excitement level of Iowa State Cyclone fans is sky-high after the Cyclones defeated Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl in January. Turn up the hype meter even more. Iowa State is ranked #7 in the AP poll!

According to Chris Fallica, the Cyclones have been ranked a total of four times in the AP preseason poll, including the last three seasons. Prior to today, Iowa State had never been ranked higher than #8 in the country, according to KCCI.

Wanna add a little more anticipation for the Iowa State season? Brett McMurphy reports that in 15 of the last 17 seasons, the eventual national champion was ranked in the AP Top 7 in the preseason.

The Iowa Hawkeyes are ranked #18 to start the season. Black Heart Gold Pants reports this is Iowa's 26th AP ranking to start a college football season. The Hawkeyes' highest preseason ranking came 60 years ago. They were ranked #1 in the nation in the 1961 preseason but would finish unranked after a 5-4 season. It was Jerry Burns' first year as the head coach.

Both Iowa and Iowa State will open the season with big games, prior to their head-to-head matchup in Ames. The Cyclones will start the season against the Northern Iowa Panthers on September 4 at 3:30 p.m. (ESPN+). Iowa will open play that same day against #17 Indiana on Big Ten Network. The kickoff at Kinnick Stadium is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

If both teams win their openers, get ready for the Iowa-Iowa State hype machine to reach a fevered pitch leading up to the September 11 meeting in Ames. The kickoff that day is at 3:30 p.m. on ABC-TV.

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