The Football Writers' Association of America (of which I am a member, full disclosure) put out its 75th Anniversary Team on Thursday, a three-deep list of college football players at each position over the last 75 years.
Because of this demarcation, the timeline starts at 1940 and as such Nile Kinnick is not part of the discussion. BHGP briefly considered mancotting calendars in protest, but with another Hawkeye being celebrated, we figured we'd keep things positive here.
That Hawkeye is second-team honoree Cal Jones, a BHGP favorite, an icon of Sports Illustrated history and a hero on par with Kinnick in his own right. Jones' bona fides are unimpeachable: a three-time first-team All-American, the first black Outland Trophy winner (1955) and 10th in Heisman Trophy voting as a senior—unusually great for both a lineman and a black player at that time. He was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980 and his #62 jersey remains retired by the University of Iowa.
So now, while these FWAA honors are essentially impossible to get perfect, it's about as close as one can get to contextualizing post-war college football performances at their peak. And the FWAA essentially says that in modern Hawkeye football history, nobody was ever as good at their position as Calvin Jones was at his. And with all due respect to the likes of Tim Dwight, Chuck Long and Robert Gallery... we'd have to agree.
Let's get the man a damn statue already.