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Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 1970s

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Posted: 8/23/2014 2:33 PM

Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 1970s 


Hello everybody, I am someone who loves to take information and make it visual, I just completed a project looking at FBS football since WWII that some of you guys may find interesting...Something really stood out to me when analyzing the historic performance of the Hawkeyes.  You guys have been pretty darned solid most of the time, definitely a well above average major college football team....except for in the 70s....What was going on in the 70s that made it the worst decade in Hawkeye history by far?  The rest of it is pretty darned good, especially the late 50s.

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/a/img901/6794/gNrWwg.png

Last edited 8/23/2014 2:34 PM by DawgPassion206

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Posted: 8/23/2014 6:03 PM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 


I wasn't alive at the time so I'm sure others will have more insight into the situation, but Hawkeye Football in the 70's are something we'd rather just forget. Forest Evashevski ran those late 50's teams and they were definitely very good teams. After 60' he became the AD and hired the next two coaches, of which they both posted losing records. So for as great as Evy was as a coach he was a less than stellar AD. IIRC there were some issues about who had control of the team, but again I'm sure someone else will have more insight. Evy retired for good in 70' and Michigan's Bump Elliot was hired as AD. He struggled at first to right the ship with 2 more coaches posting losing records but in 78' he hired Hayden Fry from North Texas and the rest is history.
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Posted: 8/23/2014 7:02 PM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 



hawkfan247 wrote: I wasn't alive at the time so I'm sure others will have more insight into the situation, but Hawkeye Football in the 70's are something we'd rather just forget. Forest Evashevski ran those late 50's teams and they were definitely very good teams. After 60' he became the AD and hired the next two coaches, of which they both posted losing records. So for as great as Evy was as a coach he was a less than stellar AD. IIRC there were some issues about who had control of the team, but again I'm sure someone else will have more insight. Evy retired for good in 70' and Michigan's Bump Elliot was hired as AD. He struggled at first to right the ship with 2 more coaches posting losing records but in 78' he hired Hayden Fry from North Texas and the rest is history.
Good stuff right there, thank you for the detailed response.  The other decades have indeed been very very solid.
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Posted: 8/23/2014 7:54 PM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 


The least an Iowa fan should do is take credit for a NC (in one of the polls) in 1958.
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Posted: 8/23/2014 11:36 PM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 


I can shed a little light on the subject as I was a fan that suffered through those losing seasons.  I believe that Evy arrived in 51 or 52.  He had some tremendous teams and we were usually one of the top 5 teams in the country, a couple of years battling for #1 or 2.  Jerry Burns took over in 1960 and Iowa was a pre season pick to be the # 1 team in the country.  Iowa was a disappointment that year losing 4 or 5 games.  The caliber of Iowa FB dropped each year thereafter until Burns was replaced by Ray Nagel.  In his 5 years Iowa never had a winning season.  He was replaced by Frank Lautebur, who also never had a winning season.  In fact, if my memory serves me correct there was one season under him where Iowa never won a game.  Five years later he was replaced by Bob Cummings.  Cummings made some gradual improvement but Iowa was never more than just mediocre under his leadership.  Five years after Cummings was hired Iowa made another coaching change and brought in Hayden.  At the time I thought, "Who the heck is he"?  "Why can't we get a reputable coach who can turn this program around".  Well, the rest is history.  But yes, there were about 20 years between Evy and Hayden where it was really tough to be a Hawkeye football fan.  It wasn't just the 70's, it was also the 60's, but the 70's were probably the darkest years.  Hope we never sink back to those days.
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Posted: 8/24/2014 1:37 AM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 



desihawk wrote: The least an Iowa fan should do is take credit for a NC (in one of the polls) in 1958.
Indeed, Iowa was #1 in the 1958 SRS ratings (as depicted in the graph with the "X").  That must have been an awesome team.
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Posted: 8/24/2014 1:40 AM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 



hawkeyeken wrote: I can shed a little light on the subject as I was a fan that suffered through those losing seasons.  I believe that Evy arrived in 51 or 52.  He had some tremendous teams and we were usually one of the top 5 teams in the country, a couple of years battling for #1 or 2.  Jerry Burns took over in 1960 and Iowa was a pre season pick to be the # 1 team in the country.  Iowa was a disappointment that year losing 4 or 5 games.  The caliber of Iowa FB dropped each year thereafter until Burns was replaced by Ray Nagel.  In his 5 years Iowa never had a winning season.  He was replaced by Frank Lautebur, who also never had a winning season.  In fact, if my memory serves me correct there was one season under him where Iowa never won a game.  Five years later he was replaced by Bob Cummings.  Cummings made some gradual improvement but Iowa was never more than just mediocre under his leadership.  Five years after Cummings was hired Iowa made another coaching change and brought in Hayden.  At the time I thought, "Who the heck is he"?  "Why can't we get a reputable coach who can turn this program around".  Well, the rest is history.  But yes, there were about 20 years between Evy and Hayden where it was really tough to be a Hawkeye football fan.  It wasn't just the 70's, it was also the 60's, but the 70's were probably the darkest years.  Hope we never sink back to those days.
Thanks for the thoughtful post.  Coaching is one heck of an important deal...

Here's another graphic that's doing the same thing as the first one, but within the context of their conference.  It's how Iowa ranked in the Big Ten in both conference W-L percentage and that all-important SRS metric I keep talking about...

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/a/img903/6015/dDKjB2.png
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Posted: 8/24/2014 1:58 AM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 


There were many factors behind the fall of Iowa football in the 1960s. Jerry Burns was a young coach -- very early 30s when he took over in 1961. He eventually succeeded Bud Grant with the Vikings and did a respectable job there.

Forest Evashevski had a reputation for being a controlling figure. And I believe he interfered with the coaches' abilities to run the football team effectively.

But, there are other reasons. From 1954 - 1964, the NCAA had a substitution rule that required single platoon football. This rule was advantageous to a school in a state with demographics like Iowa -- a state with low population and another state university playing D-1 football. You needed fewer players to field a team.

And other conferences allowed unlimited scholarships in the 1960s and 1970s and stockpiled blue chip players, and it was difficult to bring in good athletes to Big Ten schools that had scholarship limits.

Per Wikipedia:

One of Burns' assistant coaches said, "From the moment he became athletic director, Evy cut down the cost of maintaining the football program to the bare bones. He cut down on traveling expenses for recruiting, phone calls, entertainment of prospective recruits, you name it. When Evy was coach, we took visiting recruits and their parents to fine restaurants to eat. After Evy became the athletic director, the staff was told that visiting recruits and their parents would eat at the Quadrangle cafeteria. We were told if we recruited in Chicago one week, we were not to go back the next. The football players knew Jerry couldn't make it because of Evy's attitude towards him. It was a very antagonistic situation right from the start that got worse through the years."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_Evashevski

This article also cites to a great deal of friction between Evashevski and Ray Nagel who succeeded Burns. Nagel seemed to be on the cusp of actually turning the program around in 1968 when Iowa loaded its best players onto the offensive unit and went 5-5, with a wildly successful offense, that included Eddie Podolak at RB, who converted to that position from QB. It was the 1960s and in 1969 several black players boycotted the football team. There was a player vote to determine whether individuals would be allowed back on the team who were involved. Iowa managed to go 5-5. By 1970 Nagel went 3-6-1 and either did not seek a contract extension, or it was not granted. He was exhausted from various accusations made against him that were not well-supported, and then things went downhill from there.

I never imagined Iowa would win a conference title again, and when Hayden Fry showed up he initially made it clear when there was a close loss it was no moral victory, and things progressed from there. He was a college QB, and could coach QBs. For a while, Iowa became QB "U."
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Posted: 8/24/2014 2:44 AM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 


Evy could've turned iowa into a national powerhouse had he not retired at such a young age. Coaching football was his forte. Running an entire athletic department.... not so much.
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Posted: 8/24/2014 4:51 AM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 


It's a common theme throughout Iowa's history that Iowa has a knack for not being able to get out of its own way..........

That is often the root cause of any lack of success, minor or major, in Iowa's football history. 

noidea
IAGator06- "Illinois who most people on this board think "suck" has beaten Illinois 3 times since 1999."
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Posted: 8/24/2014 6:42 AM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 


I was a freshman in college (not Iowa) in 1970. That is the first I became aware of the Iowa football program. They were so fundamentally bad that I did not become a fan until Hayden showed up and they started playing a game I could relate to. Before Hayden, Iowa football was UGLY (arm tackles were the norm). The thing that stood out was the 19 consecutive losing seasons. Since Hayden and then Ferentz, Iowa has not always had winning seasons but the have at least been fundamentally sound. This is validated by the number of Iowa players that have gone on to play pro football. I was playing in a slo pitch softball tournament and listening to the Hawks play Nebraska early in Haydens tenure. When Iowa won that game, I knew that Iowa was capable of competing with anyone in the country. I have been hooked on the Hawkeyers ever since.
"If the other team doesn't score, the worst we can do is tie." - Hayden Fry
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Posted: 8/24/2014 7:38 AM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 


Kind of makes you wonder if 70s are what separate Iowa from Michigan and Ohio State. While Iowa was struggling those two teams were battling with Heisman candidates. If Iowa has success in the 70s instead of the 50s, do they become a consistent top tier big ten team along with Michigan and Ohio State.
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Posted: 8/24/2014 10:11 AM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 


In he 50's, Evy did everything correct--recruiting, coaching, innovating, Then he retired from coaching in the early 60's to be come AD (though many thought he wanted to coach AND be AD, but that didn't fly with the powers that be).

In the 60's, there was a gradual downhill slide, brought on in part by the change to double platoon football. Also, Evy and the FB coaches never got along. I almost wonder if Evy did not WANT them to fail for some crazy reason. Have you looked at the Iowa FB schedules in the 70's? (which would have been made up when Evy was still AD). It was a murderer's row of OOC games: UCLA, USC, Oklahoma, etc, year after year.

Then Nagel--who was a great coach, especially when it came to offenses--had this black player boycott problem, and one of his assts--possibly prodded by Evy--turned against him and as a result BOTH Evy and Nagel were fired! Nagel was hired back (Evy stayed fired) but the damage had been done,

Iowa tried to come back with FXL, who had a track record as a coordinator, but after an 0-11 in 1973 he was out. Then they hired Commings, who was a legendary high school coach in Ohio at Massilon, but he could not turn things around (Iowa's defenses were not too bad some years, but on offense they never, ever scored points).

But yes, I put much of the blame on Evy. He ran the football part of the athletic department horribly, basically right into the ground, alienating all of the head coaches he hired, and at some point one does have to wonder, if even subconsciously, it was because he was told he could not be AD and FB coach at the same time.

Evy was a complicated personality. To say the least.

Last edited 8/24/2014 10:12 AM by TheDirector

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Posted: 8/24/2014 10:19 AM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 



zildjian6868 wrote: Kind of makes you wonder if 70s are what separate Iowa from Michigan and Ohio State. While Iowa was struggling those two teams were battling with Heisman candidates. If Iowa has success in the 70s instead of the 50s, do they become a consistent top tier big ten team along with Michigan and Ohio State.
The rules were stacked against teams like Iowa. For one thing, I'm not sure there were ANY scholarship limits at all, so teams could stockpile like crazy. And this was at a time when people did not transfer if they did not see the field. Also, the whole Big Ten was down other than the Big Two. Between 1970 and 1980 no Big Ten team other than OSU or UM went to the Rose Bowl. That's how dominant they were.

The media did not help. In the Big Ten, there was no coverage of Big Ten football unless OSU or UM was involved. They were on TV all the time, and no one else ever was, unless they were playing one of them (this was at a time when maybe TWO college FB games were on TV on any given weekend. TWO.)

For most of the 70's, the ONLY Big Ten bowl was the Rose Bowl--that was it. If you did not go there, you stayed home, even if you were 10-1.

So, if you were a blue chip recruit, and if you wanted to a) win b) go to a bowl c) play on TV d) possibly play for a NC, you either went to OSU or UM, and no place else.

Big Ten football in the 70's SUCKED for that reason. Also, it was kind of boring football, too, which didn't help either.
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Posted: 8/24/2014 1:45 PM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 



mini14 wrote: Evy could've turned iowa into a national powerhouse had he not retired at such a young age. Coaching football was his forte. Running an entire athletic department.... not so much.

There are only 3 things I remember from Iowa football in the 70's.\

1. Sitting in the Stands with my dad at a UofDubuque game, and hearing the PA annoucer say We have a Final! Iowa 7 Penn St. 6
2. Tom Mclaughlin and Tom Rusk (both from Dubuque)
3. Dennis Mosley and Beating ISU 12-10
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Posted: 8/24/2014 3:53 PM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 



Everything I've heard or read about Evy leads me to believe he was trying to sabatage the football program. It seems plausible Evy wanted to coach the team again, more than he'd ever admit.

I believe many coaches turned down the Iowa job due to his gruff and unpproachable nature, and his constant bickering with previous hires. Lucky for him, most will remember his coaching accomplishments more than his shortcomings running the AD.
---------------------------------------------
--- TheDirector wrote:

In he 50's, Evy did everything correct--recruiting, coaching, innovating, Then he retired from coaching in the early 60's to be come AD (though many thought he wanted to coach AND be AD, but that didn't fly with the powers that be).

In the 60's, there was a gradual downhill slide, brought on in part by the change to double platoon football. Also, Evy and the FB coaches never got along. I almost wonder if Evy did not WANT them to fail for some crazy reason. Have you looked at the Iowa FB schedules in the 70's? (which would have been made up when Evy was still AD). It was a murderer's row of OOC games: UCLA, USC, Oklahoma, etc, year after year.

Then Nagel--who was a great coach, especially when it came to offenses--had this black player boycott problem, and one of his assts--possibly prodded by Evy--turned against him and as a result BOTH Evy and Nagel were fired! Nagel was hired back (Evy stayed fired) but the damage had been done,

Iowa tried to come back with FXL, who had a track record as a coordinator, but after an 0-11 in 1973 he was out. Then they hired Commings, who was a legendary high school coach in Ohio at Massilon, but he could not turn things around (Iowa's defenses were not too bad some years, but on offense they never, ever scored points).

But yes, I put much of the blame on Evy. He ran the football part of the athletic department horribly, basically right into the ground, alienating all of the head coaches he hired, and at some point one does have to wonder, if even subconsciously, it was because he was told he could not be AD and FB coach at the same time.

Evy was a complicated personality. To say the least.

---------------------------------------------
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Posted: 8/24/2014 4:57 PM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 


Just before Hayden Fry was hired, there was considerable speculation that Forest Evashevski might be brought back to coach Iowa football. 

I don't know if he was interviewed, or contacted by Bump Elliot. I think in 1979 he would have been in his early 60s.

And there was considerable speculation in earlier years, although denied by Evashevski, that he wanted to coach again. And of course he never did coach again which makes his denials of interest, entirely plausible.

Last edited 8/24/2014 5:00 PM by Hawkinole

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Posted: 8/24/2014 11:42 PM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 



Hawkinole wrote: There were many factors behind the fall of Iowa football in the 1960s. Jerry Burns was a young coach -- very early 30s when he took over in 1961. He eventually succeeded Bud Grant with the Vikings and did a respectable job there.

Forest Evashevski had a reputation for being a controlling figure. And I believe he interfered with the coaches' abilities to run the football team effectively.

But, there are other reasons. From 1954 - 1964, the NCAA had a substitution rule that required single platoon football. This rule was advantageous to a school in a state with demographics like Iowa -- a state with low population and another state university playing D-1 football. You needed fewer players to field a team.

And other conferences allowed unlimited scholarships in the 1960s and 1970s and stockpiled blue chip players, and it was difficult to bring in good athletes to Big Ten schools that had scholarship limits.

Per Wikipedia:

One of Burns' assistant coaches said, "From the moment he became athletic director, Evy cut down the cost of maintaining the football program to the bare bones. He cut down on traveling expenses for recruiting, phone calls, entertainment of prospective recruits, you name it. When Evy was coach, we took visiting recruits and their parents to fine restaurants to eat. After Evy became the athletic director, the staff was told that visiting recruits and their parents would eat at the Quadrangle cafeteria. We were told if we recruited in Chicago one week, we were not to go back the next. The football players knew Jerry couldn't make it because of Evy's attitude towards him. It was a very antagonistic situation right from the start that got worse through the years."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_Evashevski

This article also cites to a great deal of friction between Evashevski and Ray Nagel who succeeded Burns. Nagel seemed to be on the cusp of actually turning the program around in 1968 when Iowa loaded its best players onto the offensive unit and went 5-5, with a wildly successful offense, that included Eddie Podolak at RB, who converted to that position from QB. It was the 1960s and in 1969 several black players boycotted the football team. There was a player vote to determine whether individuals would be allowed back on the team who were involved. Iowa managed to go 5-5. By 1970 Nagel went 3-6-1 and either did not seek a contract extension, or it was not granted. He was exhausted from various accusations made against him that were not well-supported, and then things went downhill from there.

I never imagined Iowa would win a conference title again, and when Hayden Fry showed up he initially made it clear when there was a close loss it was no moral victory, and things progressed from there. He was a college QB, and could coach QBs. For a while, Iowa became QB "U."
A lot of fascinating responses everybody, thank you very much.

That part about the demographics,. that's interesting and totally makes sense (b/c when you think about it, demographics impact the basketball side of things a lot less than the football side).

And the part about the Big Ten not allowing unlimited scholarships, is that what happened here?  This graph is fascinating to me, it shows the Big Ten's run from 1946-1965 as more dominant than anything the SEC has ever done.  But it fell off a cliff in 1966 and save for a few years in the mid-90s, has never really recovered (nor will it in all likelihood)....

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/a/img673/2118/Us5bVD.png

Last edited 8/24/2014 11:43 PM by DawgPassion206

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Posted: 8/27/2014 7:05 AM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 


I think Iowa is an up and down program in football.  We were up during Howard Jones then dipped until the Ironmen, were down around WWII, then didn't move up until Evy's second year in 1953.
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Posted: 8/27/2014 10:38 AM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 


It's not just the 1970s that separate Iowa from Michigan and Ohio State. It's that those are states of 10+ million people compared to 3 million in Iowa.

Over time, with all things being equal (poor coaches and bad coaches, good/bad administrations, bad luck, etc.) the teams with the demographics in their favor (OSU, Michigan, Penn State) will win more. When things go wrong for Iowa, it goes 4-8 (and when bad people stay in place for a long time, one year turns into 20 years, like it did from 1960 to 1980). When OSU is "down" (2011 when Fickell was the interim coach and coming off the Tressel scandal), they go 6-6. Michigan also had a losing record one year under Rich Rod, but it's nearly impossible for a Michigan or Ohio State to go 20 years without a winning record due to the close proximity of so many good players.

The list of all-time college FB wins includes Michigan (No. 1) and Ohio State (No. 6) The rest of the top 10 includes Texas, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Alabama and Nebraska (excluding the Ivy League schools). The real outlier is Nebraska, which has overcome its recruiting disadvantages to be an all-time program. Iowa is 66th on the list by the way, so it's not just the 1970s that puts Iowa down on that list. But even the demographic issues are starting to catch up with Nebraska (to an extent).

As the population of the country continues to shift south and west, it will become more difficult for teams in low-population states to complete at the highest level. It's not impossible, but significantly more difficult. It's why the B1G knew it had to expand. You could argue that expanding to Rutgers and Maryland wasn't the best way to do this, but the conference had to expand to survive.
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Posted: 8/27/2014 11:30 PM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 


I will try to do the research. The days of unlimited scholarships were fewer in number than what I remembered from my youth. But it became a big deal around here because Iowa was hurt by it, and the Big Ten, which had dominated the Rose Bowl in the first 2-decades, started to take some hits in the Rose Bowl. Here is what I could find on the internet:

Period NCAA Era
1945-'51 Two Platoon
1952-'64 One Platoon
1965-'72 Unlimited substitution; no limits on scholarships 
1973-'77 105 scholarships
1978-'91 95 scholarships (#) 
1992-'02 Mostly 85 scholarships (*)

I don't know what the scholarship limits were before 1965 as this chart doesn't tell us.

Another likely factor effecting the downfall of programs in the Midwest like Iowa and Minnesota was apartheid, because these schools would play black athletes, some of whom were recruited from southern states, which would not enroll black athletes in their schools. By around 1970 southern universities started to abide by Brown v. Board of Education and its progeny, and enrolled black athletes. So this demographic, which for decades helped schools like Iowa and Minnesota, and other Midwestern schools was lost by the decade of the 1970s. We still played black athletes here. However, a good black athlete could by around 1970 play for Bear Bryant at Alabama, and that took athletes away from the Big Ten.

I am going by memory from my youth when I say that the Big Ten had signing limits and other schools had no scholarship limits. I am not completely sure when the Big Ten was in synch with the NCAA limits, but in some ways the Big Ten is still not in synch with the limits for perceived ethical reasons. See below discsusion. I remember this because this was given as one of the reasons for the success of schools like Oklahoma, when only Ohio St and Michigan were going to the Rose Bowl, and losing in the 1970s. It seemed like somebody finally figured if we have limits on scholarships there will be more parity, and less expense, more profit, and more interesting competition. When limits on scholarships were put into effect it helped spread the wealth of players allowing teams after the decade of the 1970s, like Iowa, then K-State, and then Wisconsin to compete, again.

And a similar debate about scholarships rages the past few years because SEC schools have rules that allowed them to oversign something like 5 players with scholarship offers and give tryouts to as many as 30 kids and take the top 25 of them (scholarship limit is 25 per year, or 85 total on the team). They excuse their conduct by claiming, "We on average only expect 25 of them to qualify academically and when we recruit we don't know which 25 that will be." And the Big Ten has not allowed this oversigning business.





DawgPassion206 wrote:
Hawkinole wrote: There were many factors behind the fall of Iowa football in the 1960s. Jerry Burns was a young coach -- very early 30s when he took over in 1961. He eventually succeeded Bud Grant with the Vikings and did a respectable job there.

Forest Evashevski had a reputation for being a controlling figure. And I believe he interfered with the coaches' abilities to run the football team effectively.

But, there are other reasons. From 1954 - 1964, the NCAA had a substitution rule that required single platoon football. This rule was advantageous to a school in a state with demographics like Iowa -- a state with low population and another state university playing D-1 football. You needed fewer players to field a team.

And other conferences allowed unlimited scholarships in the 1960s and 1970s and stockpiled blue chip players, and it was difficult to bring in good athletes to Big Ten schools that had scholarship limits.

Per Wikipedia:

One of Burns' assistant coaches said, "From the moment he became athletic director, Evy cut down the cost of maintaining the football program to the bare bones. He cut down on traveling expenses for recruiting, phone calls, entertainment of prospective recruits, you name it. When Evy was coach, we took visiting recruits and their parents to fine restaurants to eat. After Evy became the athletic director, the staff was told that visiting recruits and their parents would eat at the Quadrangle cafeteria. We were told if we recruited in Chicago one week, we were not to go back the next. The football players knew Jerry couldn't make it because of Evy's attitude towards him. It was a very antagonistic situation right from the start that got worse through the years."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_Evashevski

This article also cites to a great deal of friction between Evashevski and Ray Nagel who succeeded Burns. Nagel seemed to be on the cusp of actually turning the program around in 1968 when Iowa loaded its best players onto the offensive unit and went 5-5, with a wildly successful offense, that included Eddie Podolak at RB, who converted to that position from QB. It was the 1960s and in 1969 several black players boycotted the football team. There was a player vote to determine whether individuals would be allowed back on the team who were involved. Iowa managed to go 5-5. By 1970 Nagel went 3-6-1 and either did not seek a contract extension, or it was not granted. He was exhausted from various accusations made against him that were not well-supported, and then things went downhill from there.

I never imagined Iowa would win a conference title again, and when Hayden Fry showed up he initially made it clear when there was a close loss it was no moral victory, and things progressed from there. He was a college QB, and could coach QBs. For a while, Iowa became QB "U."
A lot of fascinating responses everybody, thank you very much.

That part about the demographics,. that's interesting and totally makes sense (b/c when you think about it, demographics impact the basketball side of things a lot less than the football side).

And the part about the Big Ten not allowing unlimited scholarships, is that what happened here?  This graph is fascinating to me, it shows the Big Ten's run from 1946-1965 as more dominant than anything the SEC has ever done.  But it fell off a cliff in 1966 and save for a few years in the mid-90s, has never really recovered (nor will it in all likelihood)....


Last edited 8/27/2014 11:37 PM by Hawkinole

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Posted: 8/28/2014 6:32 AM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 


I saw my first Iowa game when Burns was the coach.  Good god we were horrible in the 70's.  During those days it wasn't necessary to have a season ticket.  You could walk up to the stadium on game day and buy a ticket between the 40's.  If you didn't mind sitting in the end zone you could get a ticket for 5 bucks. My how times have changed.  Even as bad as it was I seldom missed a home game during the 70's.  The tailgating was better then,,,lol
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Posted: 8/28/2014 2:11 PM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 



DodgerHawki wrote: It's not just the 1970s that separate Iowa from Michigan and Ohio State. It's that those are states of 10+ million people compared to 3 million in Iowa.

Over time, with all things being equal (poor coaches and bad coaches, good/bad administrations, bad luck, etc.) the teams with the demographics in their favor (OSU, Michigan, Penn State) will win more. When things go wrong for Iowa, it goes 4-8 (and when bad people stay in place for a long time, one year turns into 20 years, like it did from 1960 to 1980). When OSU is "down" (2011 when Fickell was the interim coach and coming off the Tressel scandal), they go 6-6. Michigan also had a losing record one year under Rich Rod, but it's nearly impossible for a Michigan or Ohio State to go 20 years without a winning record due to the close proximity of so many good players.

The list of all-time college FB wins includes Michigan (No. 1) and Ohio State (No. 6) The rest of the top 10 includes Texas, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Alabama and Nebraska (excluding the Ivy League schools). The real outlier is Nebraska, which has overcome its recruiting disadvantages to be an all-time program. Iowa is 66th on the list by the way, so it's not just the 1970s that puts Iowa down on that list. But even the demographic issues are starting to catch up with Nebraska (to an extent).

As the population of the country continues to shift south and west, it will become more difficult for teams in low-population states to complete at the highest level. It's not impossible, but significantly more difficult. It's why the B1G knew it had to expand. You could argue that expanding to Rutgers and Maryland wasn't the best way to do this, but the conference had to expand to survive.
Of the Power5 conferences (B10,B12,P12,SEC,ACC), the only conference that does not have a team in the 3 top feeder states (FL,TX,CA) is the B10. The ACC has 2 Florida schools with Florida State & Miami. The SEC has Florida and Texas schools with Florida & Texas A&M. The B12 has 4 Texas schools with Texas, Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech. The P12 has 4 California school with USC,UCLA,Stanford & Cal. Those 3 states produce 38-40% of the 4 star talent annually. When you factor in that many other conference schools are adjacent to those states (which means proximity to home and all games on TV), it results in recruiting advantages to those schools, as well. Oklahoma would be a prime example. Therefore, this puts the B10 (as the only non FL, TX, CA based Power5 conference) at a disadvantage that is difficult to overcome. Not only does the B10 not have a school in the big 3 feeder states, it doesn't even have an adjacent state.
"If the other team doesn't score, the worst we can do is tie." - Hayden Fry

Last edited 8/28/2014 2:13 PM by Dohly

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Posted: 8/29/2014 6:07 AM

Re: Iowa Football History: usually very good, but not in the 


I just read on TOS that Iowa has exactly TWO wins all-time against teams that finished in the top 5 of the rankings. 

Anyone wanna guess who and/or when without looking?......noidea
IAGator06- "Illinois who most people on this board think "suck" has beaten Illinois 3 times since 1999."
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