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Sports Then and Now



Hawkeye Football Success Story: A Dozen Years of Kirk Ferentz and Staff 3

Posted on August 10, 2010 by JA Allen

Kirk Ferentz and Ken O'Keefe survey action on the field.

No doubt about it—you get more hype, more scrutiny, and media exposure playing for Ohio State, Texas, Alabama, or Notre Dame in football then you do playing for the University of Iowa.

That is because Ohio State, Texas, Alabama, and Notre Dame have reputations of being esteemed, premier football programs, fielding the best teams with the best athletes year after year.

The most talented players ready to enter college desire to play for top-flight football programs because it means a chance to excel, playing with or against the very best in the country.  It also means a higher likelihood of being drafted by the NFL and signing lucrative pro contracts.

In the past decade of college football, however, the Iowa Hawkeyes finished No. 8 in 2002, 2003, and 2004, No. 20 in 2008, and No. 7 in 2009 in both the Associate Press and USA Today polls.

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    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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