In 2008, the Hawkeyes were a 9-4 team that had a good bowl win against an SEC team. In 2009, the Hawkeyes were an 11-2 team that won a BCS bowl game. The weird thing? The 2008 team might have been better. How, you might ask? Well, it seems to be a bit of dedication, determination, and probably a good amount of luck that helped the 2009 team win 11 games, and it was all about the close games.
In 2008, Iowa played 6 close games and went 2-4. In 2009, Iowa played 6 close games and went 4-2. If you do the math, that is the difference between a 9-4 record, and an 11-2.
No matter how you put it, Iowa has been known as the Heart-attack Hawkeyes. Iowa has played nineteen games in the last three seasons decided by 7 points or less. That's half of our games. To get even deeper, twelve of those games were decided by 3 points or less. That's about once every three games. Everybody knows my favorite statistic (everybody say it with me): The Hawkeyes haven't lost by more than 7 points since November 17th, 2007; the longest streak in the nation.
But I got to thinking; maybe there is a pattern. So, I did a little research, and sure enough, I found one. Now, I don't care how "lucky" it might be or how stupid you think it is, but it has gotten me thinking. Here it is:
Record in games decided by 7 points or less:
See it? Every year since 2006, Iowa teams have rotated winning the close ones and losing them. In fact, it's almost flipped with the even years losing 70% of those games, and the odd years winning 64% of those games. So if 2011 goes by pattern (shown in bold), they should have a winning record when it comes to close games.
So then I thought, well maybe the close games don't really affect the record all that much. So I did some research and found this:
Record in games decided by more than 7 points:
See those bolded seasons? Those are seasons with winning records when the game is decided by more than 7 points. In fact, the last 3 seasons (my favorite stat :] ) Iowa has not lost a game by more than 7, giving them a 20-0 record since 2008. So, if everything follows the pattern (including the 3-year streak of never losing by more than 7), Iowa's record should be:
Crazy? Maybe. Statistically supported? Yes. Iowa averages about 6 close games and 7 not-so-close games a season. If the pattern continues, Iowa should go 4-2 in close games and 7-0 in close games. Now, I know a lot of you are thinking, "Fuck you Gookin, you are retarded." Well, I don't see an 11-2 future. At all. It's just was recent statistics say. But, we will adjust. So, if everything follows the pattern (NOT including the 3-year streak), Iowa's record should be:
More believable? Yes. Likely? Eh. Iowa has won 80% of it's games decided by more than 7 points since 2006, which is about equivalent to 6-1. Iowa would still go 4-2, due to the pattern. Still don't buy it? So, if the pattern fucks us over this year, Iowa's record should be:
9-4 (3-year streak accounted for) or 8-5 (5-year average).
These are getting more believable. I won't do much explaining because I think you get the picture by now. But my personal opinion?
But not the same 9-4 above. 3-3 in close games and 6-1 in not close games. I can't tell you which games they will be, but I think that is a fair estimate.
This was fun and absolutely 100% not worth getting your panties in a bunch about. Just an interesting view on how the 2011 season could shape out for us. Please give your view on it in the comments and if you have any suggestions I would be glad to take them.