Iowa's Title Run Predicted?

October 28, 2009

Written by Jon Miller

Some of you may remember this summer when an article surfaced that talked about the five common traits that fit the previous 11 BCS champions and predicted Florida’s title last year.

I recall doing an entire hour of radio on this topic, mostly because we would do anything to talk college football for an hour in July, and the item was also very favorable to Iowa.

The formula produced a set of seven teams prior to the start of the 2008 regular season:  Alabama, Florida, Kansas, Georgia, Rutgers, USC and Wake Forest.  Alabama and Florida played in the SEC championship game for a spot in the BCS title bout, and Florida won it all.  All seven of those teams won eight games in 2008

The first set of criteria winnowed the field down to the 66 teams in BCS conferences, plus Notre Dame.

The second set said that this year’s champion would need to have had at least eight wins from the year before.  That cut the list to 37, with Iowa still alive.

The third set said you needed to have a winning record in the month of November from the previous year.  Iowa and 24 other teams made that cut.

The fourth set said you had to have a quarterback returning who would have experience and be a junior or senior this season.  17 teams, including Iowa, met that criteria.

The fifth set said that you had to have at least six

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starters returning from a defense that ranked in the Top 20 scoring defenses in the nation.  That cut the list down to just six teams:  Florida, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Texas and Iowa.

From that list of six, THREE teams are presently undefeated and ranked in the current Top Four of the BCS:  Iowa, Texas & Florida.

Who knows what is going to happen over the final seven weeks of this college football season, but that set of criteria is an interesting harbinger worth looking at next year.

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Wait a second, we can write what we want to in this space…how about a peak at this criteria for next year’s Iowa team?

BCS Conference:  Check

At least eight wins:  Check

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Return a junior or senior QB with starting experience:  Check

Return at least six starters from a defense that was top 20 in Scoring Defense from the previous year:  Iowa will return at least six starters from this year’s defense, possibly nine but at least seven, depending on Amari Spievey and Adrian Clayborn and if they think about the next level.  Iowa is also 14th in the nation in scoring defense right now, with two thirds of their schedule to play, and they are nearly 3 points per game better than the team ranked #20.  I just don’t see the final four teams on Iowa’s schedule putting up huge numbers, so I think this one will be safe

Post a winning record in November:  Iowa hosts Northwestern & Minnesota while playing at Ohio State.  The odds would say it’s likely Iowa fares no worse than 2-1 in November, so they could meet this criteria as well.

Just a quick list of teams that WILL NOT meet all five sets of criteria for next year, off the top of my head:  Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and Penn State will all break in new quaterbacks, so they won’t make the cut.  Looking at teams from the Top 20 scoring defensive category alone, I believe Iowa could be in a smaller set of teams next year when we run these numbers than the six teams they were involved with this year.

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