Tuesday, June 9, 2009

You've got nothing on me, Rittenberg!

Ran a little poll recently at Hawkeye House. Thanks in large part to Marc Morehouse and something called a link, this poll actually worked because it had things I like to call "substance" and "sample size." The results...

Bryan Bulaga
22 (39%)

Amari Spievey
10 (17%)

A.J. Edds
9 (16%)

Adrian Clayborn
5 (8%)

Pat Angerer
5 (8%)

Ricky Stanzi
4 (7%)

Tyler Sash
1 (1%)

No huge surprises here. Bulaga the Beast comes in with 39% of the votes, the clear #1. He's the best offensive lineman in the Big 10 and easily the most dominant Hawkeye.

CB Amari Spievey at number two with 17% of the votes. As mentioned in the podcast with Marc, these two underclassmen are going to have to sit down with Ferentz after the season and have "the talk." Much less about the birds and bees, much more about the benjamins.

If there was a surprise of the poll, it's A.J. Edds and Adrian Clayborn coming in at 3 and 4 respectively. Hawkeye fans know how good these two are; Edds is the key to the Norm Parker defense and Clayborn is set for stardom this season (unless he pulls and Ken Iwebama and totally takes a vacation his last two seasons).

Pat Angerer tied with Clayborn with 8% of the votes. I thought he might be a bit higher, mainly because he's likely to be the team's leading tackler again, garnering numerous post-season awards. Also, because the perfect surname for a Big 10 middle linebacker. The only names that could top Angerer's: Jim Destroyer, Tyler Tackle, Eric Kill, Sam Hate, and Harvey Bigtenmiddlelinebacker. That's it.

The Manzi comes in 7% of the votes, a little lower than I expected. Though I believe that quarterback's get either too much praise or receive too much scrutiny, the college QB is a very influential position. A great quarterback can make a mediocre team good, while a bad quarterback can make a great team average. I think Hawkeye, as well as Big 10 fans, are trying to find where to place the Manzi after last season. Plus, the question was, "Who was the best player for the Hawks?", most people know that title belongs to Bulaga.

Sash brought up the rear with one vote, more than likely it was someone from Oskaloosa who voted that way. Sash is good (I think he can eventually be game-changing good), but it's too early to tell and he's certainly not Iowa's best player.

Time to compare our results with those of ESPN Big 10 Blogger Adam Rittenberg. (Note: I listed my own top 10 players as a piece of my final project. Only differences were I had Clayborn at #3 and Sash above Stanzi. For the purposes of this post, we'll go with the poll and it's aforementioned "sample size.")

Rittenberg ranked the Hawkeye's this way, in order:

Bryan Bulaga - 5/30
- Notably the highest Hawkeye and highest ranked offense linemen in the Big 10. This is good, Rittenberg's brain is functional and logical. Right in line with the poll.

Amari Spievey - 15/30
- Seems to be a little low in terms of Big 10 rank, though these rankings were based on college performance and not professional potential. Spievey is the second Hawkeye and second defensive back in the rankings. All is dandy.

Pat Angerer - 20/30
- Third Hawkeye noted. Fourth linebacker listed in Rittenberg's rankings. It's hard to distinguish who the Hawkeye's best linebacker is. Edds was left of Rittenberg's list. Basically, it's Angerer's production (statistics) versus Edds role on the defense (barely measurable). Rittenberg gets a pass here, mainly because it'd be very hard, if not impossible, for someone who's not sitting in Kinnick drunk to measure how good Edds really is.

Richard 'Dick' Stanzi - 23/30
- I've been clamoring that the Manzi should start going by Dick for awhile now. Think of the many possibilities. He automatically becomes a gunslinger because his name is Dick Stanzi, which rings of risking passes and chewing tobacco. He begins to fit in with other famous Dicks of society, like Dick Tracy and. . . others. I would Google famous Dicks and find more, however, I'm at my University-related job and they monitor that type of things more than my mother monitors my Facebook trying to figure out what kind of shenanigans I'm up to while I'm away. Anyway, he's the fifth QB listed behind Clark, Pryor, Juice, and Weber. He's better than Tim Brewster's golden gopher boy, but whatever.

So that's the list. The only qualm (Yes, I used it in a sentence) is that Clayborn is nowhere to be
found. Though he didn't put up huge stats last year, he's darn good and deserved to be listed somewhere. I have a feeling we'll be hearing from him in about 3 months or so.

Now, let's look at where I rated them in terms of the Big 10.

Let's start with the Manzi. I ranked him 4/11 in the Big 10, behind Clark, Pryor, and Juice, but ahead of Adam Weber. Rittenberg and I basically agree, minus the Weber mistake he made. I'm going to go ahead and say I deserve a job, or at the very least an well-paying internship at ESPN. I said it and I don't feel bad about it.

(Editor's Note: I only listed one position player per team for the rankings. Thus, some very talented people were left out. I'll try to explain.) In my linebacker rankings, I listed Edds instead of Angerer as the Hawks top linebacker. They're basically equal and interchangeable in value as we've already gone over already. I listed Edds 4/11 in the Big 10. Angerer was the fourth linebacker listed in Rittenberg's rankings behind Bowman and Lee of Penn State and Jones of Michigan State. Because I only listed one player, I had Lee as the top linebacker, Jones at two, and Martez Wilson of Illinois at three (finished at #29 in Rittenberg's rankings). Pretty darn close.

UI senior and resident idiot Josh Heyer (me) ranked Spievey at 2/11 in the Big 10 behind Kurt Coleman of Ohio State. Adam Rittenberg, who joined ESPN.com in 2008 after four years at the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, where he covered sports at Notre Dame, Northwestern, DePaul and several other colleges, ranked Spievey at numero dos behind Kurt Coleman of Ohio State. Enough said.

Bulaga is number one. I know this. Rittenberg knows this. The Big 10 knows this. Dick Tracy probably knows. I'm too excited for football to start.

So what's it all mean? First and foremost, my final project was not too shabby. Secondly, I think
I've earned a job at ESPN and will more than likely be offered one soon after the execs finish reading this. Thirdly (a word?), Rittenberg knows his stuff. For all the shit ESPN takes, the made a great move in having bloggers cover each conference. Finally, this...

Always amazing. I hope a Penn State fan wanders onto this site accidentally and watches this. BOOM! ROASTED!


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