Caught in a Steele Trap In the most recent edition of ATP, we mentioned the Wall St. Journal's analysis of offensive line starts and their correlation with college football success. It's a prognostication philosophy shared by Phil Steele, author of the completely manic - and wholly indispensable - Phil Steele's College Football Preview. On the equally schizophrenic philsteele.com, he tackled the subject, though his calculations were slightly different than WSJ:
The big name teams that have the most career starts returning are Notre Dame with 100 career starts, Iowa with 99, Georgia with 99, Texas with 91 and USC with 91 and Virginia Tech with 90.
It's great that Iowa has so much experience returning on the line. It's even greater that Minnesota, with 102 returning career starts on their line (according to Steele's calculations), would have qualified for this list...if Phil Steele still considered them a "big name team." Gopher Football: You Have Lakes, and Your Argument Is Invalid.
Your #1 pick, Brett Greenwood Adam Rittenberg has finally reached the final 5 in his countdown of the Big Ten's best players. Starting things off, it's Bryan Bulaga, who Rittenberg calls the best lineman in the league:
There are several solid players around the league -- Penn State's Stefen Wisniewski, Iowa's Kyle Calloway, Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi, Ohio State's Justin Boren and Mike Brewster, Michigan's Stephen Schilling -- but right now Bulaga is in a category of his own. He's the Big Ten's top left tackle and a player who will be on the NFL draft radar very soon.
With four players to go, Rittenberg has yet to mention Arrelious Benn, Evan Royster, or Erik Decker (I'm thinking the fourth is Zoltan Mesko), so it appears highly unlikely that any other Iowa players will make his list (Stanzi, Spievey, and Angerer have been chronicled previously).
Fine, if you want it to be that way, fi...did Ferentz just look back? I think he just looked back Wisconsin's newest in-state recruiting score, defensive tackle Bryce Gilbert, isn't exactly excited about going to Madison:
Gilbert’s roots to UW aren’t deep. In fact, he sheepishly refers to himself as a "new Badger fan."
"Like the last year-ish," he said.
Up until then — brace yourself, UW fans — he was a fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes. Gilbert was born in Iowa and stuck with his allegiance to one of the Badgers’ biggest rivals despite moving to Wisconsin when he was 8.
After Gilbert had a breakthrough junior season and began to attract attention from colleges, he hoped that Iowa would join that list of suitors.
But the Hawkeyes never did.
Bummer, dude. Maybe you can get an Iowa tattoo, just like your new coach. Gilbert goes on to say that Iowa wasn't a great fit because it doesn't have an agriculture program. So keep this in mind next time you make fun of Iowa, you arrogant Eastern pricks: Iowa does not have an agriculture program. That's what Iowa State is for.
Tim Brewster Tweet o' the Day Brew took a day to rest in preparation for TDG's impending week-long analysis of his first two years, so no Tweeting today. But let me make this abundantly clear: I am not advocating trolling their blog, posting wisecracks about how completely absurd their coach is. Not advocating that at all.
Etc. Dr. Saturday asks the question, "If a school violates a minor recruiting rule and lands the player, does it make a sound?" Iowa considers getting rid of media guides, going the way of Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, and portions of Minnesota. Notre Dame follows Iowa's lead and puts their old scoreboard up for sale. The Onion AV Club is putting out a book; I might start camping outside the local Borders in anticipation.