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Iowa OL Cole Croston and the rest of the Hawkeyes O-linemen are part of a rather distinguished tradition.

NFL draft highlights underrated Iowa-Wisconsin OL rivalry, Hawkeyes baseball and softball recaps, and more

The best way to start your day is right here at as we prepare you for everything you need to know about Iowa sports. We’ll share our Iowa Breakfast Club here with you at 8:30 a.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.

So let’s get to it. Here is the Iowa Breakfast Club for Wednesday, April 26.

Getting down with the big uglies

The most overlooked Big Ten football rivalry came to the forefront, thanks to a series of tweets Tuesday.

Iowa offensive tackle signee Tristan Wirfs didn’t like Wisconsin getting called an offensive line factory.

Iowa director of recruiting Tyler Barnes re-tweeted a Pick Six Previews tweet asking which program is Offensive Line U for NFL draft picks.

Pick Six Previews ranked Wisconsin No. 1, by one pick over Iowa, since 2000. The Hawkeyes slide ahead of Wisconsin when looking at the number of offensive line draft selections since 2003, the first NFL draft class of Ferentz recruits at Iowa. (More on this later.)

There aren’t too many places in which an argument will break out about which is the best program for offensive linemen. It’s fitting the argument does exist between the Hawkeyes and the Badgers. The identity of both programs is the running game and the offensive line. Both are known for developing linemen and both take pride in that reputation.

These are the top two programs in the Big Ten West. If one is to win a division title, it knows it must go through the other, usually with the offensive line leading the way.

The discussion of top Big Ten rivalries never hits on the Iowa-Wisconsin offensive lines. It’s rare to compare units that don’t face each other, but the offensive lines help make battles for the Heartland Trophy the smashmouth, old-school contests they are.

Iowa vs. Wisconsin is all about proving which team is better up front. It’s the perfect storm for an offensive line rivalry. It’s time it gets its proper due.

So, which program is better at developing NFL talent? Let’s take use the criteria set forth by Barnes, the 2003-16 drafts.

Team Overall OL drafted First-round picks Pro Bowls from draft picks
Iowa 16 4 7
Wisconsin 13 4 13

Overall draft selections matter because it shows a consistency and an ability to churn out more than a star player. Iowa holds a slight edge here.

First-round picks matter because these are the players leaving college at the top of their game, as viewed by the NFL. This is a tie.

Finally, Pro Bowls matter because it shows a program is capable of putting top shelf players in the NFL. Wisconsin holds the advantage here.

In that regard, it’s a tie, which goes to show how even the programs are as NFL-development centers. Declaring no true winner won’t sit well on either campus.

Hopefully it only adds to the rivalry.

Jane Meyer trial update

Iowa athletic director Gary Barta took the stand for a third day in the Jane Meyer sexual orientation and gender discrimination suit on Tuesday. Meyer’s attorney, Tom Newkirk, finished questioning Barta, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette’s Jeremiah Davis.

Assistant Iowa Attorney General George Carroll, the lawyer for the university, closed out the day questioning Barta. Barta again drove home his assertion Meyer was fired for disruptive behavior.

Barta will take the stand for a fourth day Wednesday.

Put on the rally cap

Mason McCoy’s walk-off single in the ninth inning lifted Iowa baseball to a 4-3 win against UW-Milwaukee Tuesday night.

Jake Adams hit a solo home run, his 15th of the season, to put the Hawkeyes up 3-2 in the third inning. UW-Milwaukee tied the game in the seventh inning before McCoy came up with the bases loaded and pushed across the winning run.

Quick start nets softball victory

Iowa softball scored 3 runs in the first inning and made them hold up, beating Western Illinois 3-1 on Tuesday. Devin Cantu belted a 2-run single and Angela Schmiederer added an RBI single.

It was more than enough support for Shayla Starkenburg, who threw a 2-hitter. She didn’t allow a walk and struck out 3 as Iowa improved to 16-27. The Hawkeyes travel to Ohio State for a weekend series starting Friday.

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