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Thursday, September 10, 2009

This week's games: Iowa at Iowa State

In order to know how effective a treatment is you need at least two groups-a group that receives the treatment (the experimental group) and a group that does not (the control group). You can then compare the experimental group to the control group to see how effective the treatment is. We now have a control group for the Iowa running game and, comparing that to last season, we can measure the effect of the Shonn Greene treatment. Against Northern Iowa (a tough FCS opponent, but still an FCS opponent), Iowa pounded out whopping 2.8 yards per carry. This means that, even though the passing game was decently effective, Iowa converted only 25% of third downs because many of them were long. Iowa was outgained and outmanned and should have lost that game. In other words, the Shonn Greene treatment last year was about as effective as the small pox vaccine--Iowa was completely, totally, and holistically dependent on their workhouse running back.

Working in their favor, Iowa gets another FCS opponent (who has been masquerading as a member of the Big XII for a decade now). The game is in Aimes and Iowa State had a more convincing win in week 1 against their FCS opponent, but they've got as much going for them as Somalia or the Michael Vick 2012 presidential campaign. Dressing up like USC doesn't actually make you play like USC.

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