I don't know how I missed this, but the Big Ten Network's Tom Dienhart, a fine and veteran writer (The Sporting News and Rivals.com), has been ranking Big Ten positionals for about a month.
I missed it. Been buried in Iowa's roster.
Anyway, here are links to what Tom has had so far with quick Iowa summary:
Backup QB -- Jake Rudock is No. 12. No resume.
Starting QB -- James Vandenberg is No. 2. Agree.
Running back -- Zilch. What did you expect?
Wide receiver -- Tom loves Keenan Davis. A consistent Keenan Davis is a bona fide NFL draft pick.
Tight ends -- A lot of people like C.J. Fiedorowicz.
Offensive linemen -- C James Ferentz and LT Brandon Scherff crack the top 10.
Defensive linemen -- Zip. This DL is going to have to prove itself.
Linebackers -- James Morris cracks the top 10. Nothing for Christian Kirksey. There's the chip for your shoulder, CK.
Defensive backs -- Micah Hyde makes it. B.J. Lowery doesn't have the resume, at least not yet.
Here are the unit rankings:
Secondary -- Iowa No. 6.
Linebackers -- Iowa No. 8
D-line -- Iowa No. 9
O-line -- Iowa No. 6
Receivers -- Iowa No. 3
Running backs -- Iowa No. 10
Quarterback -- Iowa No. 8
This is Iowa 2012 in June.
The defense brings caution and the offense returns the guts of what could be a great passing game, but has issues at running back.
This is stuff I'm sure you already knew, but an outsider's perspective can sometimes jar loose another line of thought.
-- Former Iowa football center Rob Bruggeman of Cedar Rapids was the victim of an apparently unprovoked assault in Des Moines at 1:50 Sunday morning.
Bruggeman was walking down a street at 1:50 a.m. local time when he was pushed by Erwin Arturo Castro-Cortez, who then sucker-punched the 6-foot-4, 293-pound center in the face. Police observed the assault and placed Castro-Cortez under arrest for assault causing bodily injury, disorderly conduct and public intoxication.
Bruggeman declined medical attention. He will vie to make the Kansas City Chiefs' roster later this summer.
-- The surprises of Stony Brook and Kent State reaching the College World Series were great stories for college baseball, but a painful reminder to Iowa and its 10 Big Ten baseball brothers (Wisconsin does not offer the sport).
The last time a Big Ten team was in the CWS was Michigan in 1984. Nebraska went to the Omaha event in 2001, 2002 and 2005 as a Big 12 member. The Cornhuskers finished fourth in their first Big Ten season, and did not qualify for the NCAA tourney.
Iowa's last (and only) CWS appearance was in 1972. Other Big Ten teams and their most-recent CWS visit:
Penn State: 1973 (not in the Big Ten then)
Ohio State: 1967
Michigan State: 1954
Illinois, Indiana, Northwestern, Purdue: Never.
-- Michael Spath of TheWolverine.com ranks Big Ten football backfields entering the 2012 season. With quarterback Denard Robinson and running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, it's no surprise TheWolverine tabs the Wolverines of Michigan No. 1.
Iowa didn't make the top five, but Spath did say this about the Hawkeyes:
Iowa backs have produced 11 1,000-yard campaigns in the 12 years since 2000 so someone will be productive.
-- Florida State is getting a lot of run as a possible national-championship football team later this year.
FSU Coach Jumbo Fisher is certainly spending money to try to bring talent to Tallahassee. He has almost doubled FSU's football recruiting budget to $525,000 since replacing Bobby Bowden two years ago.
Fisher told the Tallahassee Democrat, "I don't understand people who think you're gonna make money on a company and you don't invest in it. The investment is recruiting. If we get the right players and we win games, the school makes more money, we make more money, the community makes more money, and we're all happy."
-- Northwestern has pulled a Wisconsin. I mean, Northwestern has added a football transfer who has already graduated college but has a season of eligibility remaining.
The Daily Northwestern notes:
Pat Fitzgerald announced Monday the addition of defensive back Quinn Evans as a transfer who will be eligible to play for Northwestern in 2012.
Evans graduated from Stanford this month and decided to transfer after missing all of the 2011 seasons due to injury. After taking a redshirt his freshman year, the senior made 13 tackles in 20 games for the Cardinal over the next two seasons as a special teams contributor and cornerback.OK, so this isn't on the level of Wisconsin snapping up Russell Wilson. On the other hand, if Evans was good enough to play for Jim Harbaugh in any capacity at Stanford, he's probably got ability.