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B1G All-Decade Grades: Iowa

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In part three, we try to give an unbiased grade to our neighbors to the southwest.

Iowa v Penn State Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

While 2020 has come out the gates in relatively crummy fashion, the decade leading up to it were some of the Big Ten’s best. Huge TV deals, and overall success highlighted the 10 year span in the conference.

In an attempt to reflect upon the good times — the period of time from 2010 to 2019 — we at B5Q have set out to grade each football and basketball program over that time span.

The third installment of this series focuses on our foes to the southwest in the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Insight Bowl - Iowa v Oklahoma

Football Grade: B-

On the football field, Iowa is best defined as consistently average. Iowa has had some good years, and they’ve had some bad years over the last decade. The record for the Hawkeyes over this span has been 81-49, meaning you can pretty much chalk up an 8-4 to 7-5 season every year in Iowa City.

If you look at the records by scale, you have 13 possible outcomes from your record going from 0-12 to 12-0. The same can be said for a grading scale going from F to A+. Do the math and Iowa comes in at a B. However, they’re closer to a B- on average, and their record in rivalry games and bowl games hurts their grade.

In bowl games, Iowa has taken a postseason trip in nine of the last ten seasons, but they’ve only came out victorious in four of them. Against their four rivals they’ve gone 21-16 over the past ten years. Against Iowa State they’ve gone 7-3, Nebraska 6-3, Minnesota 7-3 and 1-7 against the Badgers. When you combine a sub .500 bowl record, and a 56% win percentage against your rivals, I think that pegs you more in the B- range than a B.

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Basketball Grade: C

On the hardwood, consistently average is still a fair assessment for the Hawkeyes. There have been a few bad seasons, but two of those we’re in the first two years under Fran Mccaffrey. If you take away an 11-20 first season, and an 18-17 second season, things have still been alright for Iowa, winning at least 20 games in six of the remaining eight seasons.

At surface level, a 194-143 record is on par, but if you dive deeper you’ll see that there is more than meets the eyes. In conference play, you’ll see that the Hawkeyes are actually 89 and 95 in their last ten seasons. That tells you Fran and Company get a little padding by beating lower tier teams in non-conference play, and then struggling against teams in your conference.

However, that is just kinda how college basketball is. You can’t knock just Iowa for benefiting from playing the likes of Oral Roberts and Cal Poly, every power five conference team does it, but it certainly won’t help boost any grades.

The other knock on Iowa’s grade is post season play. Over the past ten years Iowa has made the tournament four times, and would have made it this year had it not been for COVID-19. That means they’ve qualified for the dance five out of the ten seasons, but haven’t moved much further than that. With zero Sweet 16 appearances in the last ten seasons, it’s hard to grade a program higher than a C for me. However, they’ve got a strong squad coming back, so maybe 2020-2021 will be the year things change.

Due to popular demand, we are now including voting at the end of these posts so you too can feel the satisfaction of giving Minnesota a “D” for their football team’s performance.

Poll

Iowa football grade for the last decade

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    A
    (17 votes)
  • 72%
    B
    (304 votes)
  • 20%
    C
    (87 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (2 votes)
  • 2%
    F
    (9 votes)
419 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Iowa basketball grade for the last decade

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    A
    (9 votes)
  • 19%
    B
    (78 votes)
  • 65%
    C
    (263 votes)
  • 10%
    D
    (44 votes)
  • 2%
    F
    (10 votes)
404 votes total Vote Now