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  1. #1
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    Why can't the state of Iowa produce more college football players?

    I just don't get it. It seems like it'd be prime ground for college football players. Iowans are generally known as blue-collar, hard working people, a huge need for football players. We have no pro teams, so we focus on college and high school. Maybe it's just me, but high school football is pretty big in Iowa (not Texas big, but compared to Indiana, when some people don't even know they play games on Fridays). I refuse to blame it on a numbers thing, because both Nebraska and Kansas produce higher numbers than us and Minnesota and New York produce less (per capita). I just don't get it. Is it lack of pure athletes? Is it the high school coaching? Very rarely does it seem a large out of state program poaches many Iowa kids, so most of them even stay in state. I just can't figure out why we can't produce more D1 football players when it seems like we should have the ability.



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    Re: Why can't the state of Iowa produce more college football players?

    I do think that it a numbers game because with less of a population the less likely they are going to be football players. Although I think with the development of pop warner in Iowa means that kids are getting the opportunity to learn football at a younger age could possibly mean that Iowa might be able to develop more football players in the future.



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    Re: Why can't the state of Iowa produce more college football players?

    I think it's simple population. Cali/Tex/Flo/NY have more people so logically they would have more D1 athletes. I also think most Iowa HS students play multiple sports where as in other states, students focus on their 'best' and let the other activities slide.



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    Re: Why can't the state of Iowa produce more college football players?

    Sports Illustrated actually did an article about this in the mid 1990's. States with the population spread out produced less Division 1 athletes than states that had population centered in certain regions. If you think about it, Iowa is full of little towns <5000 people spread out all across the state. Within these small towns, the kids are forced to play more than one sport (meaning they generally don't focus on one sport like they do in bigger schools). Also, with small towns, there is generally a lack of competition amongst the athletes in the school---I know that if you went out for a sport in my hometown, you generally played varsity regardless of talent level. I'll search for it this afternoon and see if I can't scan the article for you so you can read it.



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    Re: Why can't the state of Iowa produce more college football players?

    It's not a population thing. I was looking at a per capita report, which eliminates that argument. Per capita, New York and Minnesota produce less, yet states like Kansas and Nebraska (states that are pretty similar to Iowa) produce more.



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    Re: Why can't the state of Iowa produce more college football players?

    I think population is only part of it. I mean, Oklahoma is only ~500k larger than us, and they still produce a lot of talent as well. I think a huge part of it is specialization of sports in Iowa is frowned upon. In Iowa, you're encouraged to participate in as many sports as your schedule allows. From everything I hear about Texas and Florida, kids are encouraged to pick one sport and specialize in it.


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    Re: Why can't the state of Iowa produce more college football players?

    Iowa is a blue-collar, rural, agricultural based state. Kids have other responsibilities like chores that come before sports. Kids are also located out in the middle of nowhere and have no way of getting into town to train until high school when they can drive.

    Its no surprise that most good players come from 4A schools.



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    Re: Why can't the state of Iowa produce more college football players?

    I still hold to my argument that it's a good developmental program at the grade school and junior high levels. I don't know what it's like anymore in Iowa, but when I was a kid, I couldn't play tackle football because I was too big. My first shot at playing tackle football was 7th grade. That put me about 6 years behind where they start them here in Illinois. Plus, the developmental programs work with through the whole district. So, the high school is involved in helping with camps, etc. By the time you get to high school, you already know the basics of their program. You are ready to start learning more advanced stuff.

    This is the exact opposite of when I played. I remember my Freshman football coach bragging about the fact that we were all on level playing ground, it's High School, we all start over and that he never bothered to watch any of the games we played in Junior High.

    I think the ability to start playing younger, with coaches teaching the correct fundamentals really benefit states like Texas and California.

    Edit: This isn't the only reason, by any stretch, but I think it helps. Population for sure would help develop these leagues as well. It's tough to form a Pee Wee football team that has to travel 100 miles every Sunday to play a different team.



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    Re: Why can't the state of Iowa produce more college football players?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrocksmypants View Post
    It's not a population thing. I was looking at a per capita report, which eliminates that argument. Per capita, New York and Minnesota produce less, yet states like Kansas and Nebraska (states that are pretty similar to Iowa) produce more.
    Well, NYC is a bball city. If you take the pop of NYC out of the equation when regarding NY state, you would probably see a spike in D1 athelete %, even if you took all NYC D1 Football players out of the mix. All I'm saying is FB isn't big in NYC. There are millions of people that prefer BBall to Fball. That severely messes with the numbers. If we took the same argument and inserted BBall, NYC would more than likely be #1 in the country.


    Cy 'till I Die

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    Re: Why can't the state of Iowa produce more college football players?

    I can agree with the developmental part. Tackle football wasn't even offered to me where I was from, until the 8th grade. That's WAY behing the 8-ball compared to other states. And I'm 27, so it's not like it was back in the day where everyone was on a farm and had better things to do than play around with that silly fooshball.



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    Re: Why can't the state of Iowa produce more college football players?

    People are too well-rounded, and shall I say, responisble. They work harder in other aspects of life.
    I also think it depends on how many teams there are in a state. Some states may have more overall population, but if they do not have many more teams, they will not have many more football players (see NY).


    Last edited by GeneralHouston; 10-16-2010 at 09:29 AM.

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    Re: Why can't the state of Iowa produce more college football players?

    1. Lack of serious interest.
    2. Geography. Too cold for spring football.
    3. Lack of population
    4. Lack of hrm. African Americans. Ie: genetic pool.



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    Re: Why can't the state of Iowa produce more college football players?

    Quote Originally Posted by dualthreat View Post
    1. Lack of serious interest.
    4. Lack of hrm. African Americans. Ie: genetic pool.
    These two somewhat go together. Nature is part of it (genetics), but the culture or nurture is just as big imo.



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    Re: Why can't the state of Iowa produce more college football players?

    the state of iowa is the wrestling capitol... of maybe the world. To each state their own. It just so happens that our sport isn't very popular.



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    Re: Why can't the state of Iowa produce more college football players?

    I move to Iowa from Texas when I was in third grade. I vividly remember being excited to graduate from sissy football to tackle football in fourth grade. I also remember the HS coaches watching us on the playground playing pickup games of tackle football, the teachers didn't yell at us for playing rough. That was 1984. I moved to Iowa and was crushed all they offered was flag. Hell all flag football is is give the ball to the fastest kid and see if he can get to the corner. Nobody grows up with a smashmouth mentality, all kids wanted to do was score touchdowns and get the ball. If were not developing lineman and letting kids get used to hitting each other, were not gonna develope any D1 talent on a consistant level. Were not gonna out produce the likes of texas and florida on skilled position, but now with the developement of tackle youth football in the last 4-5 years across the state, I believe we'll see an increase of Iowa kid in D1 in about 10-15 years. Good football players in my opinion come from being brought up in a football lifestyle.



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