We were a little busy dealing with the Iowa State hoops debacle on Friday, but that's when BTN's Mount Rushmore project hit Iowa and they revealed the picks for the four former Iowa football players that would grace a Hawkeye-centric Mount Rushmore. In case you've forgotten the nominees, here they are:
BHGP also wrote about each of the ten nominees for this project, as part of our collaboration with BTN. We had no input on the final selections, though. The final selections were determined by an online fan vote. And the selections were...
From left to right, that's Nile Kinnick, Tim Dwight, Alex Karras, and Chuck Long.
The only surprise there is Tim Dwight. Kinnick was a complete no-brainer: he's the most beloved figure in Iowa football history, an iconic figure whose name adorns the stadium and who won Iowa's only Heisman Trophy. Alex Karras is a former Outland Trophy-winner and one of Iowa's greatest linemen. (Also: Mongo.) Chuck Long is arguably the greatest quarterback in Iowa history and came within a whisker of winning the Heisman Trophy.
In that frame of reference, Dwight's inclusion seems a little bit odd. He was a two-time All-American and one of the greatest return men that Iowa (or the Big Ten) has ever seen, but his list of accomplishments doesn't quite measure up to the other names on the list. (Or some of the guys who didn't make the cut, like Cal Jones, Larry Station, or Randy Duncan.) But I'm not going to quibble too much: Dwight was one of my favorite Hawkeyes ever to watch and he produced some breathtaking highlights. His inclusion also makes the project seem representative of the different "eras" of Iowa football: the 30s (Kinnick), the 50s (Karras), the 80s (Long), and the 90s (Dwight), which seems kind of fitting. (Although, arguably, it would make more sense to recognize the 2000s than the 90s -- or even the 20s -- if you truly wanted to represent the best eras of Iowa football.)
In the end, an online fan vote for a project like this is always going to skew a bit younger and toward more recent players, too. And, really, there's no unquestionably right answer to the question of who would feature on a Mount Rushmore of Hawkeye football. You can make spirited (and justified) arguments for just about any combination of four guys from BTN's nominee list (so long as they all feature Kinnick, at least), as well as a few guys who weren't on BTN's official nominee list.
You can watch BTN's segment on the Iowa Mount Rushmore below (or at this link):