So Team Speed Kills did what Team Speed Kills does; Year 2 and cocknfire are writing the typical myopic SEC drivel of alarmingly high quality, but saying Iowa's schedule (which is virtually identical to last year's, only with Ball State and Eastern Illinois instead of Arkansas State and Northern Iowa; also with every semi-legitimate Big Ten opponent at home) is tough, 2009 was lucky, and 2010 is clearly going to be our comeuppance is both cliche and pretty much wrong. It's the sort of anecdotal "look at all the lucky bounces they got!" argument that can be obliterated by an objective look at the data. Fortunately, we don't need to do the heavy lifting. It's why we keep Brian Cook around, for those times when someone doesn't think a win was "impressive enough." This is where Brian usually channels Lloyd Carr and cloud-of-dust football and...well, take it away, ya goddamn hippie:
I've been thinking this for a while and now I'll dare mention it because a couple other outlets have broached the same thing: isn't Iowa due for a recession after their debt-fueled 2009? The lasting image of Iowa's Orange Bowl-winning season isn't Adrian Clayborn turning something into a damp red smear* but an Indiana pass pinging off four separate players before landing Charmin-soft in the hands of Tyler Sash.
Yeah! Go get 'em Coo...wait, what?
Iowa was 89th in total offense last year. That is not often the recipe for a top-ten team, especially when the top-ten defense lost about half its starters and is still deploying a walk-on at safety.
Hey, wait a minute!
Meanwhile, those fourth quarter comebacks scream regression unless you think Stanzi is some Rick Six** prone version of John Elway chafing under Dan Reeves. I don't think Iowa will be bad, exactly, but I'd be less surprised by the Hawkeyes finishing fifth in the Big Ten than second.
Let me say this first, because sometimes Cook doesn't get it: I like MGoBlog. I like Brian Cook. He's a great writer, a pioneer in this business, and a nice guy. But he didn't do his homework here, and the results are embarrassing for him. For one, five seconds and a solar calculator would tell him that three departures out of eleven is not "about half" of Iowa's 2009 defensive starters. As for the walk-on at safety, his second-team all-conference selection last season is a higher accolade than every single defensive player on Michigan's 2010 roster has ever received. I'll let Stanzi speak for himself and turn instead to Cook's love of the anecdotal over the analytic. I'm sure there's someone who has looked at the actual data on which teams were "lucky" in 2009. Oh yeah, I almost forgot: IT'S COOK'S OWN FUCKING COMMENTERS:
You were killed by a graph and I am sad.
Was Iowa "lucky" in 2009? Sure, but no "luckier" than Minnesota, only slightly more "lucky" than Penn State and Wisconsin, and a whole metric fucking truckload less "lucky" than Northwestern. In fact, given how incredibly unlucky Iowa was in 2008, it's fair to say that their somewhat-lucky 2009 still didn't revert Iowa to the mean. That is, if you believe your own content over three sentences from a pair of SEC fans who haven't watched Iowa since they kicked the crap out of South Carolina on New Years' Day 2009.
And I guess that's what is so sad about this. Because this is idiotic, and it is clueless, and it is so against character that it deserves to be called idiotic and clueless. Either Cook didn't realize it's moronic, which makes him the least likely moron I've ever met, or Cook knew it (the title gives it away), and that basically makes him Tom Dienhart this time. Regardless of the motivation, it's beneath him.