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BIG TEN ATTRITION: IOWA WINS B1G PLAYER LOSS TITLE!

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Congrats on the title, Io-where are you going?

Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

I made a mistake yesterday.  I broke one of my cardinal rules, and ended up working for hours on Monday night as a result.  It's all my fault, and I apologize profusely.

I read the Facebook comments.

In any case, one of the fair criticisms of Monday's post on Iowa's attrition rate was that we don't have any basis of comparison as to whether Iowa is actually losing more players than other programs.  So I totaled up Big Ten transfers from 2011-2014, the timeframe discussed in that post.

As expected, Iowa wins, and Iowa wins HUGE.  As you will recall, the Hawkeyes lost 25 players over that period of time.  That is six more transfers than the next-closest Big Ten program, Rutgers.  The full rundown:

TEAM 2011 2012 2013 2014 TOTAL
IOWA 10 8 7 0 25
Rutgers 10 3 5 1 19
Michigan 14 1 2 1 18
Illinois 8 5 3 1 17
Ohio State 11 4 0 1 16
Nebraska 6 4 5 1 16
Minnesota 6 3 4 2 15
Maryland 7 5 2 0 14
Penn State 4 3 5 1 13
Wisconsin 1 4 4 3 12
Purdue 2 5 2 2 11
Indiana 7 1 3 0 11
Michigan State 5 4 1 0 10
Northwestern 0 2 2 0 4

We did it!  We totally kicked the Big Ten's ass at having players leave our program early!  B1G Champs, baby!

Some highlights:

  • No program has endured more than one season with seven or more early exits.  No program, that is, but Iowa, which has done it in each of the last four years and seven of the last eight.
  • In all of the non-Iowa seasons in which a program lost 10 or more players -- 2011 Michigan, Ohio State and Rutgers -- a coach had left, with the new coach either cleaning house (Meyer, Hoke/Harbaugh) or failing to keep the last coach's guys (Flood).  Iowa, of course, has no such impetus for big attrition.
  • During this period of time, eight programs changed coaches.  Three more were in their first season with a new coach.  Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan changed coaches twice, and OSU spent a season with an inerim coach.  Penn State even had program-crippling sanctions coupled with a one-year free agency period.  Obviously, upheaval can lead to some breakage in a roster, and yet Iowa -- hasn't-changed-a-thing-since-1999 Iowa! -- CRUSHED THEM ALL.
  • There are three Big Ten programs that did not change coaches between 2011 and 2015: Northwestern (4), Michigan State (10), and Iowa ((Northwestern + Michigan State) x 2 - 3).  Iowa's 2011 class alone equals Michigan State's entire total, and Iowa hasn't had a season with Northwestern's total since before 2006.
  • The eight players who left from 2012 and seven players from 2013 are both leading the conference.  In related news, Iowa has six walk-ons in the depth chart at the moment.

So, no, it's not fine for Iowa to lose a half-dozen recruits from every class in the first two years.  And no, it's not fine for Iowa to essentially build in 30 scholarship losses in every roster.  And no, it's not what everyone else is doing.  Nobody is doing it like this, and for once under Ferentz, that's obviously not a good thing.