Ohio State and Iowa are defensive football schools and it's well-known, and after some research I found (unless I missed a few schools) that they are consistently the most sound defensive schools in the nation.
Ohio State hasn't allowed 21 points per game or more in a season since 1999, the longest streak in the NCAA, while Iowa hasn't allowed it since 2001, good enough for the second longest streak.
While this doesn't surprise me as an Iowa fan, I know it will probably surprise some of you. Iowa has lost 36 games since allowing just over 21 points per game in 2001, while Ohio State has lost only 26 in their 11 year span. The likelihood that Iowa would keep that streak is low, so the accomplishment is more surprising, while Ohio State is a traditional football powerhouse.
One category that Iowa has Ohio State beaten when it comes to defense is the closeness of games. Iowa is #1 in the nation for streak of losses by a touchdown or less. Iowa hasn't been beaten by more than 7 points since November 17th, 2007, beating out Boise State by six days. Ohio State's single loss this year was by 13(?). So question time:
- Ohio State held opponents to an impressive average of 15.3 points per game, while Iowa held their own with 17.7.
- Although the last statistic may make Ohio State seem more impressive, consider that they went 114-26 in that stretch. That's a win percentage of .814. Iowa went 88-36, which translates to a .709 win percentage. Ohio State consistently had better football teams overall, allowing for better recruiting, etc.
- Adding on to the last stat, Iowa had a losing season in that stretch and a team that went .500 in which the defense allowed more points per game than the Iowa offense produced (18.5 offensive ppg, 18.75 opponents ppg).
- Ohio State had eight 10(+)-win seasons, while Iowa only managed four.
- Ohio State's worst season in that stretch was one 5-loss season, while Iowa had two 5-loss, one 6-loss, and one 7-loss seasons.
Now, I'm not trying to take away from Ohio State's feat, but those statistics just amaze me. Iowa, even in losing seasons, are one of the top defenses in the nation. Keep voting, it's getting fun.