Sept. 24, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — On the strength of head coach Kirk Ferentz’s 14-year tenure, the University of Iowa football program is ranked 19th nationally in ESPN the Magazine’s “real” BCS rankings.
ESPN used three categories of Football Bowl Series success, and then split them into nine factors: on-field performance (title track, head coach, strength of schedule), off-field success (academics, recruiting, NCAA violations) and traditions of success (NFL draft picks, stadium edge, football revenue).
For each factor, data was used since 1998 to rank every team against its 119 FBS competitors. ESPN then weighted the results, with an emphasis on title track and player success (25 percent) ¬– the categories that most reflect an established winning program.
Ferentz’s continuity as the face of the Iowa program gives the Hawkeyes their highest category rank at No. 4. The “head coach” ranking takes into account tenure, winning percentage, average turnover margin, and average penalties per game.
Iowa has won more than 80 percent of its home games inside Kinnick Stadium since the 2002 season. That factor, coupled with game-day experience and the differential between home and road winning percentages, saw the Hawkeyes receive a nine in the “stadium edge” factor.
With 18 Hawkeyes being selected in the NFL Draft the past three seasons — the most in the Big Ten and tied for the third-most nationally – and a total of 49 during Ferentz’s tenure, Iowa received a 17 in the “player success” category. Iowa has had a first-round pick in the last three NFL Drafts.
The Hawkeyes received an “A” grade in terms of NCAA violations, and a score of 18 in the revenue generated by the football program.
On the strength of 10 bowl games, two BCS game appearances and two Big Ten titles, Iowa received a score of 28 in the “title track” factor. The Hawkeyes also received a 33 for “average strength of schedule,” a 39 in “recruiting” and a 50 in “academics.” The recruiting factor takes into account the total number of ESPN 150 signees, while the academics are a percentage of the US News and World Report rankings in 2012, and the team’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) in 2010-11.
Iowa is one of five Big Ten Conference schools ranked in the top 20, along with Ohio State (two), Michigan (nine), Wisconsin (13) and Nebraska (15). On the strength of seven Big 12 championships and eight BCS bowl game appearances, Oklahoma is the top-rated program; Iowa State came in at No. 73.
The information came from the Sept. 17, 2012, franchise issue of ESPN the Magazine.
Others: Penn State (22), Michigan State (27), Minnesota (40), Illinois (43), Northwestern (53), Purdue (60), Iowa State (73), Indiana (75),