Iowa Hawkeyes Welcome Back Heisman Runner-Up QB Brad Banks

Former University of Iowa All-America quarterback Brad Banks led the 2002 Hawkeyes to a Big Ten co-championship; a perfect 8-0 league mark and an 11-2 overall record. That team made their first ever BcS appearance vs. USC in the Orange Bowl.

Banks was runner-up to USC’s Carson Palmer (you might have heard of him, he made a lot of news with the Cincinnati Bengals lately) in the 2002 Heisman Trophy race. So Palmer essentially beat him twice- for the Heisman, and in the bowl game. But Banks won the AP college football player of the year award, Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top collegiate quarterback. He was also named Big Ten Player of the Year and the Big Ten’s Most Valuable Player.

[Read more…]

Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi: Big Ten’s Best QB and MVP


The list of quarterbacks with true NFL prospects is somewhat low in the Big Ten right now, but Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi seems to have a lot of what is needed for those scouts.

He has size.  He is the best, pure-pocket passer in the league, leading the league in passing efficiency with a 180.3, good for second in the nation. On Saturday, the senior semifinalist for the O’Brien Award had a nearly perfect game, 11-15, 190 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs as the Hawkeyes gave Michigan State their first loss of the season. [Read more…]

Top 10 Big Ten Football Players of the Decade

By Paul M. Banks

To conclude the 2006 Big Ten regular season, bitterest of rivals Ohio St and Michigan met as #1 vs. #2, and both undefeated for the first time in the well decorated history of the series. Basically, if you weren’t excited about that game, you were a terrorist. And unlike your typical game of the century, it actually lived up to the hype!  However, Big Ten football in the 2000s has been like the life story of Benjamin Button, it peaked somewhere in the late middle, and then descended horribly. Both the Wolverines and Buckeyes got utterly destroyed in their BCS bowl games that year, starting a nightmarish trend for the league.

[Read more…]