For comparison, Kirk Ferentz's third year

For comparison, Kirk Ferentz's third year

Submitted by Don on November 17th, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Although we've gotten to the bowl-eligibility threshold and beyond, there is a school of thought that believes "we haven't beaten anybody of substance, so 7-5 is meaningless, so RR should still be fired."

Kirk Ferentz's first season in 1999 was a 1-10 disaster; his second in 2000 was marginally better at 3-9. His third season in 2001 was 6-5 in the regular season, with a victory over Texas Tech in the Alamo Bowl. Here's the rundown of who Iowa played during the regular season in 2001, with the opponent's season record in parentheses:

W   Kent State (6-5)

W   Miami OH (7-5)

W   Penn State (5-6)

L    Purdue (6-5)

L    MSU (6-5)

W   Indiana (5-6)

L    Michigan (8-3)

L    Wisconsin (5-7)

W   Northwestern (4-7)

W   Minnesota (4-7)

L    Iowa State (7-4)

So, in his third season at Iowa, the only teams with winning records that the Hawkeyes beat were two MAC teams, and they lost to their instate rival Iowa State for the third year in a row. While it certainly represented progress from years one and two, it was hardly a scintillating record. I wonder if there were Iowa fans clamoring for his dismissal after the regular season. Ferentz was following the legendary Hayden Fry, and while Fry's last season in 1998 was disappointing, he nonetheless was the guy who had resurrected Iowa football and made it truly competitive in the Big Ten. I have to believe there were Hawkeye fans who were wondering if Ferentz was going to be able to get it done.

In Ferentz's fourth year in 2002, Iowa went undefeated in conference play, shared the Big Ten title with OSU (who they did not play) and played on New Year's Day in the Orange Bowl.

I'm not saying that RR = KF or that UM football = Iowa football or that Ferentz's record is all that we should hope for. What I am saying is that focusing solely on who we've beaten in RR's third year, and deciding that the coach should be fired on that basis, is likely to be as short-sighted as firing Ferentz after his third season would have been. Brandon has said repeatedly that the number of wins and losses will not be the sole measuring stick in his season-end review.

Brian's mini-feud with BHGB writer

Brian's mini-feud with BHGB writer

Submitted by I Miss Bursley on November 13th, 2010 at 3:54 PM

While we're enjoying the deliciously ugly Purdue win I wanted to bring up another win, this one for Brian and MGoBlog. Does anyone remember the back and forth between Brian and BHGP, when our fearless leader predicted that Iowa would run out of luck this season after all the lucky bounces in 2009? Looks like Brian was right, no?

Brian 1 BHGP 0

P.S. Will someone make up for my depressing laziness and post the link?

Tackling Technique: UConn, ND, MSU, Iowa

Tackling Technique: UConn, ND, MSU, Iowa

Submitted by maizedandconfused on November 10th, 2010 at 4:02 PM


This season has had moments of extremely heated debate, regarding the performance of the defense. The schism in views is based on two views:

1. GERG is a bad coach 

2. Our talent level is severely depleted

I decided to look at tackling technique of our defense, more specifically on the bad technique aspect of it. This particular point of emphasis is almost consistently attributed to coaching, as good technique usually only transfers to the game field when it is instilled upon repeated coaching and re-coaching in situations where poor technique is used. 

This season, time and again, we have the ball player wrapped up, and then 3 yards later they have picked up the 1st down on 3rd and forever. I thought it was about time to look at tackling, both who is making/missing them and why.

About the analysis:

1. I regarded made tackles as anytime a player made contact with the ballcarrier and that ballcarrier ended up down by contact using solid tackling technique. I did not look at technique of made tackles, as after 1/2 of tape review most of the tackles that were made were of good technique. Any tackle that forced the ball-carrier out of bounds was counted as a made tackle.

2. I designated missed tackles as failing to make a tackle in space, taking an extremely bad angle on a tackle that should have been made, or simply just getting the hit but not bringing down the ballcarrier.

4. Bad Form takes into account any missed tackle that used any of the following:

  •        Head on the upfield side
  •        Arm/Jersey tackling
  •        Any hit at or above the numbers
  •        Getting "shook" in open field due to not breaking down or overpursuit.

The difference here is missed tackles in my mind sometimes come from being literally overpowered or stiff-armed, not a technique avenue. If the UM defender made the hit with the head on the right side and attempted to wrap up but the ballcarrier just slipped through, I counted this as a missed tackle only. If, however, the same play happened with the UM defender coming in high and behind, this was counted as both a missed and bad form tackle.

To derive the "Tackling Efficiency" I used the following formulas as necessary (feel free to critique or ask me to add things, as I am not a math whiz)

  •  Player Tackling Technique: (Made Tackles - Missed Tackles)/(Bad Form Missed Tackles+1)
  • Team Tackling Technique: (Made tackles - (Missed Tackles+ TDs))/(Bad Form Missed Tackles)


Individual Players Tackling Efficiency:

  UConn    Notre Dame MSU    IOWA    Season Ave
Roh 0.66 1 0.5 0.5 0.66
Banks 1 -1.5 -0.33 3.5 0.66
Sageese 2 0 -0.5 0 0.375
Martin 0.25 2 2.5 N 1.58
Van Bergen 2.5 -0.66 1 3 1.45
Demens N N 1 6 3.5
Mouton 6.5 0.5 2.25 0.13 2.35
Gordon #4 0.25 6 -0.1 0.33 1.62
Gordon #15 0 2.5 1.75 1.5 1.91
Rogers 0 2.5 -0.33 0 0.54
Kovacs 1.25 4 3.5 6 3.70
Ezeh 0.84 -0.5 0.5 -0.25 0.15
Floyd 3 0 2.33 0.63 1.49
Talbot N 1 -0.17 1 0.61
Black N N -0.5 -1 -0.75
Johnson 3.5 N N 1 2.25
Patterson N N N -0.5 -0.5
Herron 0 1 N N 0.5
Christian N 1 N N 1

* N denotes games where player did not participate or had no made or missed tackles

A few notes from the individual analysis:

  • Kovacs is by far our best tackler, with Mouton, Johnson and surprisingly Gordon #15 as the 2,3,4 respectively. 
  • Of the guys on this list, the biggest suprise was Martin, however I think it is important to remeber that this tackling eff. calculation puts weight on total tackles made, and Martin gets doubled. A lot. (in review of my stats, Martin only missed 3 tackles total, with 2 by bad form)
  • In the two games Demens played, he was an absolute tackling machine.
  • Ezeh really cannot tackle.

Team Tackling Technique:

  UConn Notre Dame MSU     Iowa Season Ave.
UM 2.78 1.28 1.14 1.83 1.75
Opp. 3.21 2.17 7.4 5.7 4.62

We were much better at tackling UConn in space than anyone else, not suprisingly this was the team with the least athletic roster.Notes from the team portion:

  • MSU was an absolutely terrible day, with almost a missed tackle per made tackle, and lots of bad form tackles all over
  • We are consistently worse at tackling with good technique than all 4 of the opponents analyzed, two B10 "good" defenses and 2 middle of the pack to bad defenses
  • On the season for these 4 games we are averaging about 2 missed tackles with 1 missed tackle by bad form every 3 tackles made


These statistics correlate with what I have been seeing every week. Mouton is great at times and inconsistent at times, and Kovacs is a stud at bringing down the ball carrier. Ezeh was a sub-par MLB and Martin gets doubled. I have high hopes for Demens, Johnson and Gordon (both of them).

Surprises for me came with the discovery of Gordon (not Cam), that dude was all over the place when he was in/not getting blown off the ball by a OT. Secondly, I think Floyd has the potential (if he develops his man coverage) to be an absolute terror on the corner. He can and will tackle in space. 

As a team, I think the debate as to what this attributes to is still open for debate. Does this attribute to talent? Possibly. Is this more attributable to the coaching/GERG? Yes. However, with the limited bodies he has on his side of the ball, it might be due to the fact that live tackling is just not an option with this lineup. 
Regardless of the cause, the tackling is terrible, and is apparently getting worse through the season. This attributes in my mind to the coaching, specifically the D-Coordinator. 

I can only hope the tackling technique is going to get better, because as it stands through these 4 games it cannot get much worse. I will do my best to analyze Indiana, PSU and Illinois when I get some more time, to give a more all encompassing picture of our D (takes a significantly longer time because I have to watch the whole game). 

OT: Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, & Iowa's recruiting violation

OT: Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, & Iowa's recruiting violation

Submitted by bdsisme on October 31st, 2010 at 2:12 PM

"The University of Iowa has admitted NCAA recruiting violations that involve husband-wife film stars Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore.

The violations involve the Hawkeye men's basketball staff but took place during a U of I football game last month at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, according to documents school officials filed with the NCAA."

Read the rest at:

Today's game, as told through Bruce Willis movie posters

Today's game, as told through Bruce Willis movie posters

Submitted by bronxblue on October 17th, 2010 at 12:20 AM

This was originally a response to an earlier post, but I figured it would be fun to make it a post and expand a bit.

As told through Bruce Willis movie posters.

Game started out with the team looking:

and the team taking an early 7-0 lead with some nice stops.  Then Iowa went on a run, scoring 21 straight points before the half as the offense imploded somewhat and everyone had a

that things were falling apart.  The scene started to look bad as the fans began to boo with everyone's

Then Denard was hurt in the 3rd quarter and everyone was

Tate came in, but everything seemed a little off initially as him lining up under center felt like

Iowa then scored again to take a 21-point lead and the scene was pure

But then Tate led the team on a string of impressive scoring drives, and they refused to

UM pulled within and it looked like the game would be a classic in which the

would win.  Unfortunately, the kicker then booted his second (!) kickoff out of bounds, leaving every fan seeing as Iowa was able to tag on a field goal to finish the scoring at 38-28, a tough loss but one that most felt had some bright spots, even though others feel that sentiment is a

Now for the next two weeks, there will be rumblings that perhaps Tate should be the starter over Denard, that an issue exists.  I expect the airwaves to be held for the next two weeks as people wonder about this team and if a collapse is going to follow, though I ultimately expect this team play like they are and ultimately emerge as a

Rivals still hinting Rodriguez in danger...

Rivals still hinting Rodriguez in danger...

Submitted by Search4Meaning on October 15th, 2010 at 7:34 PM

In an otherwise "meh" article, Rival's Larry Lage takes the opportunity to take a poke at Rodrigeuz.

"Rodriguez, who’s in his third pressure-packed year with the Wolverines, hopes he has enough time to assemble the talent he wants playing for college football’s winningest program."   (I inserted bold font)

In fairness, it does eventually compare Ferentz's less than stellar start and Iowa's patience with him to Rodriguez.


2010 Schedule Wallpaper - Maize is Blue - Game 7 Iowa

2010 Schedule Wallpaper - Maize is Blue - Game 7 Iowa

Submitted by monuMental on October 15th, 2010 at 9:25 AM

So you've probably heard by now about the cease & desist letter I received from legal representation of the University of Michigan and the Heisman Trust, and that I decided to take down all of my wallpaper artwork last week while I worked things out.

The original legal notice was founded on the misunderstanding that I was manufacturing Denard Robinson action figures. After I explained that the action figure is not real (but that I was amused that they thought it was) and that I am not trying to make money from the project, I received a follow-up e-mail indicating that their perspective was that I was promoting my business because the wallpapers were hosted on my business web site. Which, OK. I can see that perspective. I was honestly not trying to make a link between the two (and had actually taken specific steps to avoid the crossover) but I've moved all of my artwork to a new, personal blog and believe that satisfies the demands of the cease and desist.

I'm really going out of my way to be cooperative and the University's lawyer has been reasonable so there's a chance that the wallpapers could disappear again if they don't agree with my interpretation of their legal position and want to talk about it some more.

Let's move on to this week's wallpaper which you will be able to enjoy seeing on your bright shiny screens until 3:30 p.m. tomorrow and maybe for the duration of the bye week if we can pull off the upset...

Close your eyes (not literally because then you'll have to stop reading) and picture a typical Iowa family sitting down for dinner...

There's a plate full of charred animal flesh and a pile of home-grown corn. Dad sits down at the table. He offers thanks for the meal. He picks up a piece of corn. He takes a bite. He cracks an incisor in half on a little Michigan helmet! Yeah! Come on scientists! We can land a man on the moon but we can't inject a chemical that grows little Michigan helmets into Iowa corn crops?

The image below is a preview only. You can get this week's widescreen, 4:3, iPad and mobile wallpapers at The Art. The Art. The Art!.

2010 Game 7 Wallpaper Preview

All of the 2010 Schedule Wallpapers

Season Wallpaper - Denard Robinson Action Figure

Game 1 Connecticut Wallpaper - Husky Puppy Piddles in Fear

Game 2 Notre Dame Wallpaper - Touchdown Jesus Says "No Good"

Game 3 Massachusetts Wallpaper - The $550,000 Cupcake

Game 4 Bowling Green Wallpaper - Wolverine vs. Falcon

Game 5 Indiana Wallpaper - Good at Basketball

Game 6 Michigan State Wallpaper - Sibling Rivalry

Game 7 Iowa Wallpaper - Maize is Blue

Game 8 Penn State Wallpaper - The Eyes Have It

Game 8 Penn State Wallpaper - JoePa Halloween Costume

Game 9 Illinois Wallpaper - We Be Illin'

Game 10 Purdue Wallpaper - I Think We Can! I Think We Can?

Game 11 Wisconsin Wallpaper - Cheesehead Cross Stitch

Historic Comparison: Penalties in the Michigan vs. Iowa Game

Historic Comparison: Penalties in the Michigan vs. Iowa Game

Submitted by profitgoblue on October 14th, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Below is an analysis of historical data on penalties in the Michigan-Iowa game dating back to 2003.  (FYI - The "Against" row lists penalties called against Michigan and the total yardage lost and the "For" row lists penalties called against Iowa and the total yardage gained due to these penalties.)

  2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Totals Averages
Against 6-59 5-62 3-29 4-35 DNP DNP 3-25 21-210 4.2-42.0
For 4-35 9-48 11-94 3-18 DNP DNP 5-45 32-240 6.4-48.0
Home/Away Away Home Away Home DNP DNP Away    
Win/Loss Loss Win Win Win DNP DNP Loss Record - 3-2

Based on the data, Michigan has averaged 4.2 penalties per game as compared to Iowa's average of 6.4 penalties per game. Not nearly as big of a disparity as the 4 penalty-per-game difference between Michigan and Michigan State, but a slight advantage nonethelss.  Interestingly, Michigan has been very consistent historically at around 4 penalties per game for about 40 yards lost per game in most rivalries that I have researched.  And Michigan appears to be on that same track this year (with the one abberation coming against Notre Dame in Week 2).

2010 Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Totals Averages
Against 1-13 8-99 3-16 7-58 5-70 3-35 27-291 4.50-48.50
For 2-10 4-29 4-46 5-55 3-11 6-65 24-216 4.00-36.00
  Win Win Win Win Win Loss    

What it means for Saturday:  In a game where Michigan's offense is facing a strong defense and gaining yards may be more difficult than usual, penalties (like turnovers) can play a large role.  If you see 4 penalties from Michigan for 40 yards then do not fret.  However, if you see a flood of penalties from Michigan it might have a real impact on the game.  That's probably an obvious statement, but still something to consider nonetheless.

Tempo-Free Offense and Defense Points-Per-Posession: Iowa

Tempo-Free Offense and Defense Points-Per-Posession: Iowa

Submitted by bigmc6000 on October 12th, 2010 at 5:54 PM

Last week I looked at UM's 2009 vs 2010 numbers and came up with some numbers that point to a Michigan loss, but I held out hope that the Michigan offense wouldn't suck like they did against Sparty last year - yeah...  So this week I'm just sticking to the numbers in hopes of reverse jinxing us into a win :)

This week I took it one step further and looked at all of Iowa's 2010 results, comparing them to their 2009 common opponent results (as best as you can -- PSU is nothing like the PSU from 2009 but it's the best you can do).

UM's numbers took a bit of a dip both offensively and defensively after the MSU debacle and we now have this for the D:

UConn 1.11  
ND 1.41  
UMass 3.36  
BGSU 1.91  
IU 2.92  
MSU 3.10  
  All Opponents All DI - Opponents
Total 2.26 2.051

And this for the O:

UConn 3.88  
ND 1.75  
UMass 4.20  
BGSU 5.73  
IU 3.50  
MSU 1.55  
  All Opponents All DI - Opponents
Total 3.28 2.97

Now for some scary numbers: Lets look at Iowa thus far. Their D:

Eastern Ill 0.70  
Iowa State 0.58  
Arizona 1.30  
Ball State 0.00  
Penn State 0.23  
  All Opponents All DI - Opponents
Total 0.54 0.50

And their O:

Easterm Ill 3.50  
Iowa State 3.18  
Arizona 1.62  
Ball State 4.09  
Penn State 1.70  
  All Opponents All DI - Opponents
Total 2.75 2.65

Ok so we already knew that Iowa has an absurd D but what about comparing both UM and IA to this point last year...

All Opps 2010 2009 % Improvement
UM D PPP 2.26 1.39 -63%
UM O PPP 3.28 2.99 10%
IA D PPP 0.54 0.95 43%
IA O PPP 2.75 1.95 41%

And for D-I Opps only:

All DI Opps 2010 2009 % Improvement
UM D PPP 2.05 1.59 -29%
UM O PPP 2.97 2.6 14%
IA D PPP 0.5 0.86 42%
IA O PPP 2.65 2.12 25%

So, compared to last year at this point our D is much worse, our O is a bit better and Iowa has made huge strides on both sides of the ball (pick-6's and special teams points aren't counted in this). With that in mind what happened last year against Iowa?

UM vs IA 2009* Expected Result % Difference
UM D 1.59 2 -21%
UM O 2.6 1.62 -60%
IA D 0.86 1.62 -47%
IA O 2.12 2 -6%

* means that I used the D-I only numbers

Well, pretty much only the Iowa O met their numbers for the season average while our D, O and Iowa's D took a big hit.

If we only look at UM 2010 vs 2009 we get a predicted score as such:

Based on UM Performance
2010 vs 2009
  vs All vs DI Only
UM 20 21
IA 38 34

Then if we look at only Iowa 2010 vs 2009 we get this:

Based on IA Performance
2010 vs 2009
  vs All vs DI Only
UM 10 12
IA 30 25

Basically everything spells doom.  Even if you put in a full 6-pt swing from the change of home venues, we're at best looking at 31-24 Iowa. Sadly, I'm going to go with the average of all four numbers and throw in a 3-point swing for home field advantage (not 6 as we're treating 2010 as a seperate entity) and I end up with UM 19 - IA 32. I'll do a bit of DO NOT PUNT rounding and IA's penchant for FGs for an official prediction of UM 21 - IA 30.

I'd do a full review of the MSU numbers but it's painful so the quick and dirty is the O took a 56% decrease in PPP (3.5 season avg vs 1.55 actual) and the D took a 69% decrease (1.84 season average vs 3.10 actual).

P.S. Dear Denard - please just run once your internal timer has gone off and prove the numbers horribly wrong!! :)