Phil Steele’s 2012 College Football Review found its way to my desk recently (thanks for the complimentary copy, Phil), which means free pot-stirring by me.
Iowa fans, Phil says your team has “a great chance” to start the season 5-0 and top last year’s seven wins. He projects the Hawkeyes going to the Gator Bowl to play South Carolina. But when it comes to ranking the various units of the team, Iowa’s don’t measure up to three of its Big Ten Legends rivals, Michigan, Michigan State and Nebraska.
He has Iowa’s linebackers as the 32nd-best unit in the nation and its quarterbacks 41st-best (even though Steele ranks James Vandenberg the 17th-best QB in the nation). That’s it.
Now let’s look at how other Legends teams fared:
Quarterbacks 5th, offensive line 17th, running backs 19th, linebackers 21st, defensive backs 22nd, receivers 35th.
- MICHIGAN STATE
Linebackers 2nd, defensive line 10th, offensive line 13th, defensive backs 15th, special teams 20th, running backs 29th
Special teams 9th, defensive backs 14th, running backs 14th, defensive line 21st, offensive line 22nd, linebackers 33rd, receivers 34th
Special teams 35th
Special teams 39th
In individual rankings, Iowa had these players listed besides Vandenberg:
Micah Hyde, No. 5 cornerback
James Morris, No. 8 inside linebacker
Tanner Miller, No. 13 free safety
James Ferentz, No. 13 center
C.J. Fiedorowicz, No. 13 tight end
Keenan Davis, No. 17 wide receiver
Christian Kirksey, No. 49 outside linebacker
As for the Leaders Division and Steele’s unit rankings …
- OHIO STATE
Defensive line 7th, special teams 8th, linebackers 11th, defensive backs 11th, running backs 30th, receivers 36th
Defensive backs 17th, quarterbacks 22nd, linebackers 31st, defensive line 35th
Running backs 1st, linebackers 9th, offensive line 14th
Defensive line 33rd
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