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    JonDMiller's Avatar
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    Recruiting Remains an Uphill Battle for Iowa

    I know what some of you are thinking.

    "Oh boy, here goes Miller with another 'woe is Iowa recruiting piece'."

    Well, it's not 'woe is Iowa', as the Iowa football program has been doing just fine, thank you very much. I guess it depends on how you look at this sort of thing. If anything, I believe the data below will support just how well the Iowa football program has been performing amidst the most difficult challenge they face; recruiting geography.

    I don't need to dwell on the following too long, as the results are there for all to see; the Iowa coaching staff is among the best in college football at identifying and developing talent that other BCS conference teams don't offer and/or don't have to offer, given the strengths of their recruiting geographies.

    Recruiting Geography is going to be the theme of these post, so let me post a graphic now that we'll refer back to throughout the rest of the item. I have a lot of friends who are in the scouting business. One of them compiled a spreadsheet based upon Class of 2011 signees and broke the data down by state. He obtained the data from the National Federation of State High School Associations.

    The large 'players' column is the number of high school football players in that state and the ratio is the number of players who signed with an FBS program from that state compared to the number of kids playing high school football in that state.



    Since 2001, Iowa has the 17th best winning percentage in the sport. If you take away Boise State, TCU and Utah, teams who did not play BCS conference schedules during those years, Iowa jumps up to 14th. That's a really good number, considering the other teams in the mix and the recruiting advantages they enjoy over Iowa.

    Oklahoma, Texas, USC, LSU, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Florida and Auburn are all higher than Iowa on the winning percentage list. As you can see from the graphic, the states of Texas, Florida, California, Georgia, Ohio, Louisiana and Alabama are 1-7 on the list as far as gross number of FBS signees in concerned. The only outlier on the school list above is Oklahoma, but that state still produced 44 signees and had a 272 to 1 ratio, the sixth best ratio of any state in the nation.

    Iowa? This data showed nine FBS signees and Iowa's ratio of 2161 to 1 was 42nd out of 50 states.

    In Iowa's case, both the raw number and the ratio are poor, far too low to be a consistent feeder for an FBS program, much less a state that has two such programs.

    Florida has the highest ratio of 111 to 1. There were 38,268 high school players and 1 of every 111 of them signed with an FBS school, an amazing number. Louisiana was second on the ratio ranking, followed by Georgia and Alabama. Utah was next at 270 to 1 and with 30 players...those are not amazing raw numbers, but that is a solid base with which to draw from for Utah and BYU.

    Recruiting is the most important aspect for all of the big boys. It's important for Iowa, but they have to work harder and smarter to compete with the blue bloods of the sport who have a much, much easier job of maintaining a successful programs due to the non-stop supply of talent in their back yards.

    I have felt this way for years, though some fans don't want to hear 'excuses'. It's not an excuse when it's reality; it's not easy to win at Iowa and it's even harder to win consistently at Iowa. The same can be said of Wisconsin, Kansas State and several other programs. These numbers above puts what Nebraska has done in their history in an even better light.

    It's not hard (or should not be) to win at USC, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Auburn, Texas, Texas A&M, Penn State, Michigan, Miami, Florida State and Tennessee...that's where the players are from and each of those programs are among the Top 23 winningest programs in the history of the sport.

    Here are some additional observations I drew from looking at the data:

    -How can Florida State and Miami have hiccups? SOOO much talent, especially for FSU. Miami is a bit more regional and Dade County can be more uncertain. Florida has been and remains one of three best coaching jobs in the sport.

    -While the state of Florida has the most talent density, the state of Ohio produced 144 FBS prospects and Ohio State is the primary player in that state. There is no Florida State to recruiting against and while there is a Miami to recruit against, it's the Redhawks and not the Hurricanes. In my opinion, Ohio State is certainly one of the four best jobs in the sport, behind Texas, USC and Florida. Urban Meyer is making the Ohio State job even more national in its recruiting scope than it has been. That will be of benefit to Michigan and a few other Midwestern programs who can come in and get some of the cream Ohio talent.

    -Ohio with 144 is far and away the Midwest's leader in talent production, with Illinois a distant second with 73. Ohio has a ratio of 382 to 1 while Illinois is at 679 to 1. More kids play football in Ohio and there are more, better players in Ohio. Pennsylvania comes next in gross Midwestern talent with 60 (and a 446 to 1 ratio) with Michigan right behind Pennsylvania at 59 (740 to 1). Given the state population, Michigan does not produce as many FBS players as you would expect, looking at their ratio. Kentucky, Kansas, Colorado, Nevada and Arkansas have higher talent ratios.

    -Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska and West Virginia are the clear outliers in this list as it relates to talent ratio and overall gross FBS talent. Iowa produces fewer than 10 FBS players per year and West Virginia produced three. Wisconsin had 22 players and that is a decent local base for them to augment their regional efforts, while Nebraska typically gets the instate kids they target as well as pulling in national and regional prospects.

    -Minnesota's ratio is one slot lower than Iowa's, which is surprising. They had 6,000 more kids playing football with just two more FBS signees.

    What are some of the things you see from this data?
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    trapperjon's Avatar
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    Re: Recruiting Remains an Uphill Battle for Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by JonDMiller View Post

    What are some of the things you see from this data?
    Montana will never be a football powerhouse.
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    Re: Recruiting Remains an Uphill Battle for Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by trapperjon View Post
    Montana will never be a football powerhouse.
    Not in FBS but they are real good in FCS
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    Re: Recruiting Remains an Uphill Battle for Iowa

    They play football in Alaska?
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    If you have a problem with one of my posts please contact ChrisABraden.

    "...the program sucks, he is a terrible D1 coach, KF is delusional,.... Deanvogs

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    3:40 2nd Iowa 4th & 13 at Neb30 Wienke punts. Touchback. Ball on Neb20.

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    Re: Recruiting Remains an Uphill Battle for Iowa

    When you consider that Wisky and Neb do not have another BCS school in their state like Iowa does, it is even more of a daunting recruiting mountain for Iowa...clearly the worst Big Ten school in terms of geographical recruiting hurdles.

    I always try to factor this recruiting disadvantage in when assessing our coaches performance,and when I am thinking rationally, I end up just grateful for the skills of KF and his staff in making Iowa football as competitive as it has been over the last decade. They have had a remarkable decade....which is why anyone suggesting that KF should be on a ''warm seat'',as some publication indicated, displays complete ignorance of the reality of the Iowa football program and its challenges.

    Those detractors of KF be warned...watch out want you ask for...you may just get it....and you will not like it.
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    Re: Recruiting Remains an Uphill Battle for Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by JHHawk View Post
    When you consider that Wisky and Neb do not have another BCS school in their state like Iowa does, it is even more of a daunting recruiting mountain for Iowa...clearly the worst Big Ten school in terms of geographical recruiting hurdles.

    I always try to factor this recruiting disadvantage in when assessing our coaches performance,and when I am thinking rationally, I end up just grateful for the skills of KF and his staff in making Iowa football as competitive as it has been over the last decade. They have had a remarkable decade....which is why anyone suggesting that KF should be on a ''warm seat'',as some publication indicated, displays complete ignorance of the reality of the Iowa football program and its challenges.

    Those detractors of KF be warned...watch out want you ask for...you may just get it....and you will not like it.
    Recruiting disadvantages have nothing to do with gameday performance and coaching decisions. Of which there have been numerous that should be criticized. FWIW, I don't think KF should be on a warm seat either, but this year is very important.
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    Re: Recruiting Remains an Uphill Battle for Iowa

    JD-

    Here's my takeaway. Take a look at the number of D1 schools that are competitive at least in the states and surrounding states of the top 10.

    Recruiting is a regional game, and if you want to paint the brush that Iowa doesn't have any instate talent, that would be fine if all schools were only recruiting in their state.

    What makes the SEC great isn't that Florida has 111 BCS players every year, it's the entirety of the region.

    In that way Iowa is exceedingly blessed by several factors:

    1) The BCS schools in Illinois do not have in state allegiances.
    2) Mizzou and Kansas also do not have in state allegiances that are nearly as strong as Iowa's, meaning that it isn't tough to go into the state and pluch out talent. Same goes for Minnesota, and while certainly to a significantly lesser extent, the Badgers will always be second fiddle to the Packers and by a HUGE margin.

    The only school in the region with huge instate emotional ties is Nebraska and that is a national program.

    You can talk about Florida all you want, but you have Florida, Florida State, Miami, South Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Auburn all bordering the state.

    You can look at North Carolina, but you have UNC, NC State, Wake Forest, Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee, VA Tech, UVA and more bordering. I even omitted Duke.

    I certainly think the road is easier for Iowa competing against Illinois, N'Western, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State, no, even if the pool is smaller?
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    Re: Recruiting Remains an Uphill Battle for Iowa

    I've hung out at the University of Miami. Trust me, they should have NO problem recruiting. Ever.
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    Re: Recruiting Remains an Uphill Battle for Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by BSpringsteen View Post
    You can talk about Florida all you want, but you have Florida, Florida State, Miami, South Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Auburn all bordering the state.

    You can look at North Carolina, but you have UNC, NC State, Wake Forest, Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee, VA Tech, UVA and more bordering. I even omitted Duke.

    I certainly think the road is easier for Iowa competing against Illinois, N'Western, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State, no, even if the pool is smaller?
    Well yes but Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee are all in the top 18 according to Jon's Chart.

    Comparatively, only Illinois, Ohio and Michigan make that list from the midwest. Michigan and Ohio both having tight borders.


    That's a much larger high end talent pool.
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    Re: Recruiting Remains an Uphill Battle for Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by kuhntz View Post
    Recruiting disadvantages have nothing to do with gameday performance....
    The difficulty to get talented players to attend a school has nothing to do with how well a team performs, and ultimately, whether the team is able to win? Really?
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    Re: Recruiting Remains an Uphill Battle for Iowa

    In looking at that chart I would say Nebraska could be in for a fall. They used to recruit heavily down into Texas, but that was back when they played in the Big12.
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    Re: Recruiting Remains an Uphill Battle for Iowa

    Boss, you posted, in part:
    I certainly think the road is easier for Iowa competing against Illinois, N'Western, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State, no, even if the pool is smaller?
    I don't have a problem with that. However....

    The level of consternation that can exist on the message boards and talk radio leads me to believe that a lot of people don't view those schools as anything to compare to, and wonder why Iowa can't be more like Michigan, Ohio State, etc...the blue bloods, who have all the advantages on a year in year out basis.

    Folks are expecting more of the latter than the former...and my assertion is it's real, real hard to be consistently relevant with the latter than the former given the inherent recruiting disadvantages Iowa has.
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    Re: Recruiting Remains an Uphill Battle for Iowa

    Talent has not been the problem. Getting beat by better teams is not the problem.

    Other schools lose to a team as bad as Minnesota once every five years. Iowa loses to teams like that a couple of times each year.
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    3:40 2nd Iowa 4th & 13 at Neb30 Wienke punts. Touchback. Ball on Neb20.

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