I don't know if it's an official statistic that is in the ESPN stats office right now, but after a few hours of research, I have found Iowa hasn't been beat by more than 7 points since November 17th, 2007; the longest active streak in college Division-1A football. How shocking is that? Let me tell you:
- Oregon hasn't lost by more than 7 since losing to Ohio State by 9 on Jan. 1, 2010.
- Auburn hasn't lost by more than 7 since losing to LSU by 21 on Oct. 24, 2009.
- TCU hasn't lost by more than 7 since losing to Oklahoma by 25 on Sept. 27, 2008.
- Boise St. hasn't lost by more than 7 since losing to Hawaii by 12 on Nov. 23, 2007.
- Iowa hasn't lost by more than 7 since losing to Western Michigan by 9 on Nov. 17, 2007.
- Oregon, Auburn, TCU, and Boise St. have lost a combined 8 games since the start of their streaks.
- None of the four have lost more than 3 games since the start of their streak.
- Iowa has lost 11 games without allowing more than 7 points.
Now, some will say, "That's not impressive, it just shows Iowa can't win games." Well, yes, that may be part of it, and to read about Iowa and their close games, here is a link to an article I wrote shortly after the Insight Bowl for those who care.
But this is very impressive. For a team to lose 11 games in a 3 season stretch and never lose by more than 7 is EXTREMELY impressive. Everyone in the Big Ten lost by more than 7 at least once this season, while Iowa has held it's streak for multiple. In fact, during my research, I found almost every single team (except the unbeatens and a select few one-losses) had lost by more than 7 at least once.
Ohio State went 12-1 but lost by more than 7. Wisconsin went 11-2 but lost by more than 7. Oklahoma St? 11-2, lost by more than 7. Oklahoma: 12-2, lost by more than 7 twice.
Disappointing we can't win those games? Yes, it's heartbreaking. Somehow cool l that our heartbreak leads to a pretty awesome statistic? It helps us lick the wounds.
This has become pretty popular, so I am just adding the statistics I researched when I wrote the article I linked above. Here they are:
-Iowa hasn't lost by more than 7 points since losing by 9 to Western Michigan on November 17th, 2007.
-Iowa has gone 28-11 the last 3 seasons: Average of 9-4 regular season (with bowl win) and a 5-3 conference record.
-Largest margin of win: 45 points against Ball State '10; Largest margin of loss; 7 points (Northwestern '09 and Arizona '10)
-Iowa has played 19 games decided by 7 points or less over the last 3 seasons: That is 48.7% of Iowa's games.
-12 of those 19 games were decided by a field goal or less: That's 30.7% of Iowa's games since 2008.
-Iowa has gone 8-11 in that stretch winning by an average of 2.75 points, and losing by an average of 3.64 points.
-Iowa has played an incredible 4 games decided by 1 point in this stretch.
- 2-2 in those games: Losses at Pitt in '08 and Wisconsin '10, and wins against Penn State '08 and UNI '09.
-Iowa has only lost by 7 twice since 2007, coming against Northwestern in 2009 and Arizona in 2010.
-Iowa is 6-4 against Top 25 opponents and 3-0 in bowl games in this stretch.
-Average win by: 12.83 points; Average loss by: 3.75 points
-Largest win: 31 point win over #5 Michigan St.; Largest loss: 7 point loss at #24 Arizona
- 4-1 against Top 10 opponents and 3-0 against Top 5.
-Also brought to my attention in the comments is the struggles against unranked: 7 unranked losses to 4 ranked.
-Iowa has gone 13-2 against non-conference opposition.
-In the 13 wins, Iowa averages winning by 21.5 points a game.
-Iowa went 3-0 against Iowa State (Iowa went 3-7 in 10 previous seasons), but went 0-3 against Northwestern (Iowa went 26-6 from 1974-2007).
-Multiple games decided by a score in last minute include Illinois '08 (L), Penn State '08 (W), UNI '09 (W), Michigan '09 (INT with 46 seconds left) (W), Michigan State '09 (W), and Ohio State '09 (L).
-Last list doesn't include games decided by winning drives earlier in the game or failed 4th down conversions (we have seen too many).
-Iowa has forced 4 shut-outs in the 3 year span (FIU '08, Minnesota '08-'09, Ball State '10).