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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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      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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