IOWA CITY, Iowa — The game is simple. You get $15 to spend across five categories to pick the best Iowa football team of the Kirk Ferentz era.
Player values range from $1-5. A team consists of a quarterback, running back, wide receiver/tight end, offensive line and defense. You can load up on stars or spread the money across all the position groups.
Let the debate begin on how to construct the best team.
- $5 – Brad Banks
He made the most of his one full-season as a starter in 2002. He led the Hawkeyes to a Big Ten title and the Orange Bowl while finishing runner-up in the Heisman Trophy voting. Banks threw for 2,572 yards and 26 touchdowns and also rushed for 423 yards and 5 touchdowns. He won the Silver Football Award as the Big Ten Most Valuable Player in 2002.
- $4 – Drew Tate
Tate, a three-year starter, is second on the Hawkeyes’ all-time passing list with 8,292 yards. He threw 61 career touchdown passes from 2003-06. He earned All-Big Ten first-team honors from the league coaches in 2004.
- $3 Ricky Stanzi
Stanzi started for three years and is third on the career passing yardage chart with 7,377 yards. He lettered from 2007-10. Stanzi set the single-season program record for passing efficiency at 157.63 in 2010. He won all three of his games against top-5 opponents.
- $2 – C.J. Beathard
Beathard started in 2015 and 2016, leading the Hawkeyes to a Big Ten West Division title and Rose Bowl berth in 2015. He threw for 5,562 career passing yards and 40 touchdowns. Big Ten coaches and media each selected him a second-team all-conference performer in 2015.
- $1 – James Vandenberg
He is one of only four Iowa quarterbacks to throw for at least 3,000 yards in a season. He passed for 3,022 in 2012. The two-year starter in 2011 and 2012 is seventh on the all-time passing list with 5,786 passing yards.
- $5 – Shonn Greene
Greene won the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top halfback, and earned All-America honors for his breakout season in 2008. He set program single-season records with 1,850 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns in 2008.
- $4 – Fred Russell
Russell ran for 1,264 yards and earned first-team all-conference honors in 2002 and 1,355 yards and earned second-team all-conference honors in 2003. His 2,760 career rushing yards is fifth all-time.
- $3 – Ladell Betts
He is the only Hawkeye to lead the team in rushing in four seasons, from 1999-2001. He topped the 1,000-yard mark three times and is second all-time with 3,686 rushing yards.
- $2 – Akrum Wadley
Wadley earned third-team all-conference honors while rushing 1,081 yards and averaging 6.4 yards per carry in 2016. He also finished second on the team with 315 receiving yards. The senior is back to start this season.
- $1 – Albert Young
Young, who played from 2004-07, is third on Iowa’s all-time rushing list with 3,173 rushing yards. He rushed for 1,334 yards in 2005 and earned honorable mention all-conference honors in 2005 and 2007.
Wide receiver/tight end
- $5 – Marvin McNutt
McNutt holds the program career record with 2,861 receiving yards and 28 touchdowns and the single-season record of 1,315 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns from 2011. He was named the Big Ten wide receiver of the year and earned first-team all-conference honors in 2011.
- $4 – Dallas Clark
He won the John Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end and was a consensus All-American in 2002. He racked up 81 receptions for 1,281 yards in two seasons and is arguably the best tight end in program history.
- $3 – Kevin Kasper
He tied for single-season record of 82 receptions in 2000. His 1,010 receiving yards from 2000 are third all-time for a single-season. He also caught 7 touchdowns and earned All-Big Ten second-team honors in 2000.
- $2 – Clinton Solomon
Solomon led Iowa with 905 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns in 2004 and 800 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns in 2005. He earned All-Big Ten second-team honors from the media in 2004.
- $1 – Tevaun Smith
He led Iowa in receiving yards with 596 in 2014 and was a vital downfield threat passing threat on the 2015 Big Ten West Division championship squad. Smith finished his career with 1,531 receiving yards.
- $5 – 2002
The 2002 O-line, which included Eric Steinbach, Bruce Nelson and Robert Gallery, was the reason the Hawkeyes averaged 214.2 rushing yards per game that year.
- $4 – 2008
The Iowa rushing attack averaged 188.7 rushing yards per game with Bryan Bulaga and Seth Olsen leading the way up front.
- $3 – 2005
Marshall Yanda was a key part of the offensive line as the Hawkeyes averaged 174.7 rushing yards game.
- $2 – 2013
Brandon Scherff lead the way for the offensive line as Iowa averaged 179.9 rushing yards per contest.
- $1 – 2016
Iowa won the Joe Moore Award, given to the top offensive line, in 2016.
- $5 – 2004
The Hawkeyes won the Big Ten thanks to a groupe led by defensive end Matt Roth and linebackers Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge. The Hawkeyes allowed 17.6 points.
- $4- 2008
Mitch King earned Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year honors as the Hawkeyes allowed 13.0 points and recorded two shutouts.
- $3 – 2002
Safety Bob Sanders anchored the 2002 defense. Teams struggled to run on it, gaining only 81.9 rushing yards per game while scoring 19.7 points.
- $2 – 2013
A trio of linebackers, James Morris, Anthony Hitchens and Christian Kirksey, keyed a defense that gave up only 18.9 points per game.
- $1 – 2016
Cornerback Desmond King, linebacker Josey Jewell and defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson stood out on a defense that allowed 18.8 points per game.