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Thread: Program Levels

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    Program Levels

    A common phrase used when talking about college football and especially ISU this year is taking the program to the next level. How many levels are there? What levels are the most difficult to advance to? I think there are five levels of division 1 football broken down as follows.

    Level 1- These are the teams that are usually ranked in the top 15 every year and will be a top 10 ten pre-season pick most years by reputation alone. They have great facilities, lots of money and have recruiting classes of 4 and 5 star recruits. These teams expect to be in the national championship mix and be in BCS bowls at least half of the time.

    Level 2- These teams are ranked in the top 25 over half of the time, consistently finish 3-4 in their BCS conference and go to decent bowl games every year. They have good facilities and money and have recruiting classes of 3 to 4 stars. Champions of good non-BCS conferences usually are at this level.

    Level 3- These are your middle of the pack finishers in BCS conference play. These teams have winning records and fill up the lower half bowl spots. On good years they crack the top 25 for a few weeks. Top teams of non-BCS conferences are usually at this level.

    Level 4- Despite finishing at the bottom of their BCS conference standings, they can still win their non-conference games against level 5 schools. Modest facilities, low budgets and no recent tradition. Recruiting is very difficult. If a BCS school drops below a level 4 consistently coaching changes have to be made.

    Level 5- These are the bottom feeders of the non-BCS conferences. A few bad BCS schools occasionally land here but there are some permanent BCS residents such as Duke. No tradition. No facilities. Make most of their money by playing level 1 and level 2 schools in September. Win one to three games a year mainly against each other.

    The question is, what is the base level of every college program? Mac took over a level 4 program that had slipped to level 5 under the last Walden year. He stayed at level 4 for five years before getting the program to level 3 in 2000. He dropped to level 4 in 03 and missed his chance in 02, 04, and 05 for a level 2 season. This year they are 3 plays away from a level 5 season

    I think with ISUís tradition, money, facilities and location it would be very difficult if not impossible to be a base level 2, just as it would be just as difficult for Iowa to be a base level 1. However, Hawkeye fans expect to be a base level 2 and get to level 1 two or three times every ten years without ever falling to a level 4. ISU fans expect to be a base level 3 program and get to level 2 two or three times every ten years without ever falling to a level 5. Once a generation Hawkeye fans expect to contend seriously for the national title and Cyclone fans would like to be at level 1 season.

    Ferentz has met this reasonable expectation. Mac has not. The future of ISU football looks like a lot of level 4 seasons with the occasional level 3 and 5 thrown in. I think ISU has the resources to field a level 3 program but Mac has only had four level 3 teams in 12 seasons with no level 2 teams.

    Are a majority of level 3 seasons with an equal amount of level 2 and level 4 seasons sprinkled in a realistic expectation for ISU football? Can Mac meet this expectation in the future?



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    Re: Program Levels

    If we could ever get to level three for three years in a row, a lot of things would fall into place. Seems like injuries and suspensions are becoming a bigger part of game as 85 scholarships are not enough to avoid depth problems. Jeremy Crabtree says only 5 people a year are D-1 quality coming out of Iowa high schools and maybe three-four in nebraska. If you want to win in Ames, you need a coach or assistant who can walk into Texas or Oklahoma or California or Florida and pull out some quality players. Close to 200 people are D-1 just in Texas. Barney should be good to recruit Texas.


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    Re: Program Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Bryceman View Post
    If we could ever get to level three for three years in a row, a lot of things would fall into place. Seems like injuries and suspensions are becoming a bigger part of game as 85 scholarships are not enough to avoid depth problems. Jeremy Crabtree says only 5 people a year are D-1 quality coming out of Iowa high schools and maybe three-four in nebraska. If you want to win in Ames, you need a coach or assistant who can walk into Texas or Oklahoma or California or Florida and pull out some quality players. Close to 200 people are D-1 just in Texas. Barney should be good to recruit Texas.
    we've been at level 3 for 5 of the last 7 years. we're arguing that we want better than level 3


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    Re: Program Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by jdoggivjc View Post
    we've been at level 3 for 5 of the last 7 years. we're arguing that we want better than level 3
    Dan is that you?



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    Re: Program Levels

    The level 3 seasons we have achieved have largely been because the competition was down those years as evidenced by the numerous postings about our record against winning teams. Not being able to have a single level 2 season when the opportunity was there and being three plays away from having a level 5 season this year is what is troubling.

    This program looks like it's going to settle in at a level 4 unless changes are made. With this years schedule and defense a level 2 season was not expected but a 7-5 or 6-6 level 3 season was certainly achievable.



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    Re: Program Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclone_Power View Post
    Dan is that you?
    Barney? John? JP? Okay, which one of you is telling us this?


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    Re: Program Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Bryceman View Post
    Barney? John? JP? Okay, which one of you is telling us this?
    I think it's Barney, No doubt about it.



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