As Spring football begins around the Big 10, we're going to go around to each team in the conference and check in to see where the programs are at in the offseason. For each team, we'll provide a Spring Football primer that contains some of the pertinent information for each team including looking back at 2010 and looking forward to the the 2011 season. While controversy and scandal dominated in Columbus, the Hawkeyes were faced with their own set of shocking circumstances. What about on the field though? Let's check Iowa's Starting 11...
1) 2010 Record: 8-5, (4-4, T-4 Big Ten)
2) Bowl Result: Win 27-24 vs Missouri in Insight Bowl. Micah Hyde's INT return for a TD with five and a half minutes left in the game turned around a contest Iowa looked sure to lose. Freshman Marcus Coker ran for 219 yards and 2 TDs for Iowa's 3rd straight bowl win.
3) 4 Year Average: 8.5 Wins, 4.25 Losses overall. 4.75 Wins, 3.25 Losses in Big Ten play
4) Best Win: Oct 30, 37-6 Win vs #5 Michigan State
5) Worst Loss: Nov. 27, 27-24 Loss @ Minnesota
6) 2010 Season Headline: The Hawkeyes began the season in the Top 10, but lost three games to ranked teams by seven points or less (Arizona, Wisconsin, Ohio State). After looking like a Big Ten title contender, Iowa lost three straight to end conference play and ultimately ended outside the national rankings.
7) 2010 MVP: Ricky Stanzi, QB - It's a close call here between the All-American QB and Iowa's real All-American - DE Adrian Clayborn. We'll go with Stanzi because while Clayborn's presence did a lot for the Hawkeyes, his 4 sacks in 2010 was a great disappointment for someone who was considered a dark horse Heisman candidate. Stanzi threw for over 3,000 yards in 2010 with a career high 25 TDs and only 6 INTs and finishes in Iowa City with a 26-9 career record as a starter.
8) Key Losses: Stanzi, RB Adam Robinson, DL Adrian Clayborn, DL Christian Ballard, DB Tyler Sash,
9) Key Returners: QB James Vandenberg, RB Marcus Coker, WR Marvin McNutt, DL Mike Daniels, DB Micah Hyde
10) 2011 Recruiting Rankings: Rivals - #4 Big Ten, #30 Nationally, 24 commits, 3.0 stars average score.
11) Big Question For 2011: Has Kirk Ferentz lost control of the program?
-The Iowa Head Coach may be Jim Tressel's best friend at the moment because his trouble took the spotlight away from what has been a disastrous few months in Iowa City. Iowa isn't typically a place associated with scandal and controversy, but look at the laundry list of issues effecting the program - leading rusher Adam Robinson was booted from the team for academic issues. Receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos was arrested on six drug related charges, pleading guilty on one, and was exiled from the program. And then, perhaps most disturbingly, 13 Iowa players were hospitalized with a muscle disorder after a January workout. Much like Jim Tressel in Columbus though, Kirk Ferentz has built up a lot of good will in Iowa. He's stayed put while having ample opportunities to a more glamorous job. However, Ferentz will be tested on the field this year losing his best offensive and defensive player. If the wins start to dry up in Iowa City, then Ferentz may see the pressure increase.