Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ricky Stanzi's Place In Modern Hawkeye QB History

Iowa has built up a reputation as an NFL factory over the past couple of years. NFL coaches, executives, and even the so called "experts" talk up Kirk Ferentz as one of the best at getting college kids ready to be NFL players. Iowa has had success putting offensive linemen, defensive linemen, tight ends, etc. into the professional ranks. However, there has been one position that Iowa has not had the same kind of luck with in recent years. Leading up to this year's draft, I'm sure Hawkeye fans have heard this fact ad nauseum: Iowa has not had a quarterback drafted since 1992. To be fair, nineteen years is a long time. Not to mention, that the last two Iowa quarterbacks were twelfth round picks, which obviously doesn't exist anymore. So, extending that back to 1987, when Mark Vlasic went in the fourth round, means that Iowa has not had a quarterback drafted in the first seven rounds of the draft in my lifetime. Well, Ricky Stanzi finally bucked that trend today, as the Chiefs picked him up in the fifth round. And let me be the first to say: It's about fucking time, Iowa.

With that out of the way, let's get down to what this post is really about. Where does Ricky Stanzi rank all time among modern Iowa quarterbacks (modern, in this case, being since 1970)? It's an interesting question to be sure. Stanzi had mediocre years during his Sophomore and Junior campaigns, leaving the Iowa faithful hoping that he would finally put it all together. Then, during his Senior year, Stanzi literally became "The Manzi." He went from being known as a fourth quarter comeback kid, to a complete four quarter quarterback. His first two years under center for Iowa, surely drag his career numbers down, but how far do his Senior numbers pull him back up Iowa's lists? Well, let's find out.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Iowa Football Career Offensive Stats Since 1970

As you no doubt know, we're currently in the middle of the college football offseason. And like most Hawkeye fans, I tend to find myself a little bored at times. Especially, when you consider that I follow a baseball team that continuously finds new and more frustrating ways to suck at the game they get paid to play. To try and minimize my boredom, I usually find myself browsing through many different stat sites to try and find a little nugget of information that I never knew or hadn't realized before. If that nugget happens to be Hawkeye related and interesting enough, then I post it on here.

Well, I was perusing the other day, when I found a leaderboard for career passing, rushing, and receiving stats dating back to 1970 for Iowa football. Needless to say, I found this awesome, and once I found out it was sortable by category, I nearly cried out of happiness. However, I realized it didn't give me every statistic I wanted or they didn't present it how I would like. For instance, they give you TD% and INT%, which tells you the percentage of pass attempts that were touchdowns and interceptions. However, I prefer to see those stats as in how many attempts, on average, it took a quarterback to throw a touchdown or interception. So, I decided to input the numbers into a spreadsheet of my own (thank god for text to columns!). This allowed me to add the stats that I wanted. Anyway, I uploaded the spreadsheet onto Google Docs, for those who like to play around with this sort of thing.

The link can be found at: Iowa Football Career Offensive Stats Since 1970

Note: If the columns are not already sortable, then click the filter button up top. You can also download it into Excel if you'd like.

As a quick example of what you can do with this, I present to you: The Worst 5 Iowa Quarterbacks Since 1970 in Attempts per Interception for the Iowa Hawkeyes (min. 100 attempts):
  • 1) Tom McLaughlin (1975-1977)- 12.33
  • 2) Butch Caldwell (1972-1976)- 12.88
  • 3) Kyle Skogman (1970-1973)- 13.89
  • 4) Pete Gales (1978-1981)- 15.80
  • 5) Rob Fick (1971-1974)- 16.15
The 1970's. The golden ages of Iowa football!

So, there you go. I think you get the point. Hopefully, you will enjoy this as much as I have so far. If you get nothing else out of this, though, at least you can be the life of the party, when you tell your friends that Arvell Nelson has the highest quarterback rating in the last four decades of Iowa football.*

*Arvell Nelson- 1 Game, 1-1, 12 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 200.80 QB Rating. Small sample sizes!

Follow Me on Twitter: GoHawks1123

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Tavian Banks' 1997 Season

Note: This is a series I've decided to put together to get us through the long months until football kicks off. It could be a season, a game, or one play. Hell, it could be anything that stuck out to me at some point in time about Iowa sports. Either way, just enjoy this trip back in Hawkeye history.

Ah. 1997. I remember it just like it was yesterday. Actually, no I don't. Considering when the Hawkeyes kicked off the 1997 season, I was 3 months away from my tenth birthday, I don't remember a whole lot from that season. Here's what I do remember from that time period: 1) Tavian Banks was Awesome. 2) Tim Dwight was awesome. This post, however, is about the former rather than the latter. (I'll probably do a Dwight post at some point too).

Tavian Banks was my favorite player as a kid. Why? Well, this can probably explain why. He was a playmaker. Banks was more of a finesse runner, he wasn't going to bowl you over. But, his combo of great vision and speed, allowed him to make one cut and leave everybody in a cloud of dust. Every time he touched the ball, 9 year old me looked on in awe, because I knew there was a chance that something spectacular could take place.

Banks' career at Iowa had a bit of bad timing, however. The high school star, who chose Iowa over offers from Nebraska, Washington, and Miami, to name a few, attended Iowa during the same period that another very good running back was carrying the ball for the Hawkeyes. Sedrick Shaw and Tavian Banks were quite the one-two punch, going for over 1,500 yards on the ground combined in 1995 and over 2,000 in 1996. However, Shaw got the majority of the carries (316 to 66 in 1995 and 224 to 144 in 1996) during the time period that they were teammates.

When Shaw was drafted in the third round of the NFL Draft, Banks finally got his chance in 1997 to show what he could do as the number one running back. He didn't disappoint. His final line for the year looked like this:

Games        Carries        Yards        TD        YPC        YPG        Carries Per TD
   11               260           1691         17         6.50         140.92            15.29

The former football and soccer star from Bettendorf, had gotten the most carries of his collegiate career and put up his best average yards per carry on top of it. Not to mention, he also set the Iowa single season record for rushing yards and touchdowns, which would stand for a little over a decade, when Shonn Greene would break them. 

Banks had finally got his chance to be the number one guy during his Senior year, and he took the opportunity and ran with it. Literally. Since I'm not much of a writer, I didn't write this to be just a narrative on Tavian Banks career. I'm more interested in how good he was. In other words, the numbers. So, let's take a look at the damage Banks did to opposing teams during his 1997 campaign. Shall we?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

2010-2011 Offensive and Defensive Efficiency for the Big 10

Mostly out of boredom (long ways off until football season), I decided to make a chart. What you will see below, is all Big 10 teams plotted by their Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Efficiency. For those who aren't familiar with Offensive and Defensive Efficiency, they're basically points per possession multiplied by one hundred. They're tempo-neutral stats that you can compare to points per game. They allow you to compare how many points a team averages or allows in one hundred possessions. I used Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Efficiency from The "Adjusted" part is just kenpom's way of adjusting for things I'm not smart enough to do, like strength of opponent.

I scaled them all so that 100 on each axis equals Big 10 average (The average offensive efficiency in the Big 10 this year was 113.56. For defense, 94.04). Anything above 100 is above average and anything below 100 is below average. For instance, 90 = 10% below average and 110 = 10% above average.

Enough stat speak. Lets get to it!

Above Average Offense and Defense:
  • Ohio State- Offensive Efficiency- 125.6 (11% above average), Defensive Efficiency 88.4 (6% above average). They were by far and away the best team in the Big 10 this year. They dominated on both sides of the ball.
  • Purdue- Offensive Efficiency- 115.3 (2% above average), Defensive Efficiency 89.5 (5% above average). Purdue was very good on both sides of the ball. However, because they only had two real offensive options most of the time, they were only 2% above average on offense. 
Above Average Offense and Below Average Defense:
  • Wisconsin- Offensive Efficiency- 123.3 (9% above average), Defensive Efficiency 95.2 (1% below average). The Badgers were very good on offense, only slightly worse than Ohio State. On defense they were simply meh.
  • Northwestern- Offensive Efficiency- 115.5 (2% above average), Defensive Efficiency 99.7 (6% below average). Northwestern was a good offensive team and an atrocious defensive team (worst in the Big 10!). I know. I was shocked by this result too.
Above Average Defense and Below Average Offense:
  •   Illinois- Offensive Efficiency- 112.7 (1% below average), Defensive Efficiency- 91.0 (3% above average). Illinois just edges out Michigan, as they were both pretty much even on offense, but Illinois was 2% better on defense.
  • Michigan- Offensive Efficiency- 112.8 (1% below average), Defensive Efficiency- 93.0 (1% above average). Michigan was about as average as average could get this year. 
  • Michigan State- Offensive Efficiency- 109.1 (4% below average), Defensive Efficiency- 92.6 (2% above average). Michigan State was right in-between Illinois and Michigan on defense, but they were much worse on offense. 
Below Average Offense and Defense:
  • Penn State- Offensive Efficiency- 112.9 (1% below average), Defensive Efficiency 95.5 (2% below average). I was kind of surprised that with Talor Battle and Jeff Brooks on their team, Penn State wasn't at least slightly above average on offense. The defense didn't surprise me one bit, however. 
  • Minnesota- Offensive Efficiency- 109.4 (4% below average), Defensive Efficiency- 95.6 (2% below average). When you have Blake Hoffarber trying to play point guard for a portion of the season, you know it's not a good year.
  • Iowa- Offensive Efficiency- 103.6 (9% below average), Defensive Efficiency- 94.8 (1% below average). Iowa sported the worst offense in the Big 10 this year. On the bright side, the Hawkeyes' defense was only slightly below average. 
  • Indiana- Offensive Efficiency- 109.0 (4% below average), Defensive Efficiency- 99.1 (5% below average). Indiana and Iowa were on a whole different level of sucktitude in the Big 10 this year. However, Indiana couldn't beat Iowa this year. So, suck it Hoosiers! We're number 10!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Mid-Season Look at the Iowa Baseball Team: Part II

This time, pitching!

Note: Once again, the stats from this post are through March 31 only. No Big 10 games are included in this data.

That looks a lot better than the offense. Now, Iowa's pitchers aren't what you would consider world beaters. However, they do get the job done. The most important thing in any sport is scoring and keeping the other team from scoring. Well, Iowa's pitchers have been decent at keeping runs off the board. Iowa's 5.22 R/9 allowed is 4% better than the league average of 5.42.

A big part of Iowa's ability to keep runs off the board has been keeping the ball in the park. Iowa's 0.27 HR/9, is third in the Big 10, and good for 18% above the league average of 0.33. As mentioned in the first post, Duane Banks Field should also help with this.

When it comes to strikeouts and walks, however, Iowa is below average. Iowa's 6.21 K/9, is 3% below the Big 10 average of 6.42. While, their ability to find the strike zone is a little worse, as their 4.23 BB/9 is 9% worse than the league average of 3.87.

Iowa's pitching graded out overall to 2% above average when taking into account all four scores from above. Their score of 102, tied Illinois for fourth best in the Big 10. Basically, Iowa has a bunch of pitchers who don't miss a lot of bats, walk too many guys, but keep the ball in the park, which keeps runs off the scoreboard. It may not be the prettiest, but it can get the job done. Kind of.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Mid-Season Look at the Iowa Baseball Team

I love Baseball and I love the Iowa Hawkeyes. However, I follow Football and Basketball much closer than I do the Iowa Baseball team. Most of that is because they are rarely on TV. It also doesn't help that they haven't been historically good at the game, and this year hasn't been an exception so far.

Well, lately I've been thinking about ideas for a post on here, and finally the inspiration hit me. I was walking around Scheel's last weekend, and I saw this awesome Iowa Baseball shirt. I decided to buy it. I then thought to myself, I'm going to wear this and know close to nothing about the how the current team is doing this year. So, I decided to write about the Baseball season so far. One, so in case anybody asked me about my shirt, I could actually sound knowledgeable about the team. Two, because I actually would like to care about Iowa Baseball, more than I do now.

So, for this post the numbers are through March 31 only. None of the Big 10 games played yet are in here. In this post, I'll be looking at offense only. Tomorrow will be pitching. Let's go!


This is how Iowa's bats stack up to the Big 10 average. Not very good. Iowa is 5% below average at getting on base (OBP). Iowa as a team gets on base at a .344 clip, compared to the .362 league average OBP. They are also 43% below average in the power category, which I measured by Isolated Power (ISO). For those not familiar with ISO, it is simply Slugging Percentage (SLG) - Batting Average (AVG). It gets rid of the singles a player hits, leaving you with the average extra bases per plate appearance for a hitter. The Hawkeyes ISO is a measly .056, compared to the Big 10 average of .099. Iowa is also 22% below Big 10 average in scoring runs (Runs per 9 innings). Iowa is scoring 4.30 R/9 this year, while the average Big 10 team is scoring 5.50. They are, however, 4% above average when you look at their strikeout to walk ratio (K:BB). Iowa averages 1.75 strikeouts for every 1 walk. The Big 10 average is 1.82 K:BB.

Look at Iowa's triple slash line: .247/.344/.303. Now look at the average Big 10 team: .281/.362/.380. That is why Iowa's offensive scores on the above chart averaged out to an offense that is 17% below the Big 10 average.