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Old 01-26-2009, 07:03 PM
Location: Chicago
3,876 posts, read 4,637,959 times
Reputation: 3270


I'm going to test out a theory here but before I do, let me set the record straight:

1. I think Iowa is a terrific state
2. I attended the Univ of Iowa; so did my daughter. Both of us have great affection for it and think it is a great institution
3. Iowa' two major public universities, UI and ISU, both have excellent reputations.

That said, let me run by premise here:

The University of Iowa is the best public university in among states that are not defined by being heavily urban as well as not being large in population in general.

IMHO, the Univ of Iowa shares more in common with the most respected state universities, the public ivies, than any school in a less urbanized state.

And my contention as to why:

1. The Big Ten Conference: I think that membership in the Big Ten is huge. The other seven states that make up the B10 have major cities. Location and tradition drive the Big Ten academics. It is easily the best major conference from top to bottom of all the major (BCS) conferences. Only the B10 has all members part of the prestigious AAU. I believe that the University of Iowa has long recognized the Big Ten advantage and has taken particular pride and placed great importance in conference membership. And I believe that Iowa used that membership as a hold over Iowa State with its less prestigious acacadmics of the old Big Eight.

2. Iowa City: Iowa City is far enough east in the state of Iowa to make a strong connection with the other Big Ten schools. It makes the Univ of Iowa more like a de facto extension of the urbanized midwestern region east of the Mississippi.

3. Chicago: Iowa City's relatively short distance to Chicago and Iowa's Big Ten membership has created a strong link with top notch high schools in suburban chicago that a school like Iowa State just doesn't have. On a smaller scale, the Univ of Iowa benefits from Chicagoland enrollment in a way similiar to how the Univ of Illinois so benefits.

As noted, I cannot think of a single school in a less urbanized/smaller population state than the Univ of Iowa (with the possible exception of those in northern New England which are more attached to the special educational atmosphere of the northeast.

And I contend it has been geography with Big Ten membeship, Iowa City being in the far eastern part of the state, and the closeness of Chicagoland that has helped contriubte to UIowa's stellar reputation.

What do you Iowans think...do I have some valid points here or am I way off the mark?
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:20 PM
Location: Boise, Idaho by way of Iowa City, Iowa
310 posts, read 1,055,157 times
Reputation: 94
this is all common knowledge country wide
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:19 AM
1,910 posts, read 2,778,290 times
Reputation: 886
Definitely has something beyond a good reputation. I remember when I was there it produced some Real World Characters, and Steve Alford made the place look cool in his ESPN interviews. just by his dapper style and mafia hair. The successful football program, the whole true "liberal" embracement really sets it apart. You hear about the other Big 10 schools being more academically prestigious i.e. Michigan, Wisconsin, Illnois, but they don't seem to produce the same interest Iowa does, anywhere I've been nationwide, people are always instantaneously interested.
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:50 AM
Location: Marion, IA
2,790 posts, read 4,852,042 times
Reputation: 1544
U of Iowa: Great big ten sports, hospitals, and nightlife and world renowned colleges.

ISU: Engineering geeks on a plot of ground in BFN who like to drink at get into fights.
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:42 AM
434 posts, read 1,695,807 times
Reputation: 351
Originally Posted by zz4guy View Post
U of Iowa: Great big ten sports, hospitals, and nightlife and world renowned colleges.

ISU: Engineering geeks on a plot of ground in BFN who like to drink at get into fights.
I believe at one time, you claimed to be an "engineering geek"...
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:49 AM
Location: Bettendorf, Iowa
51 posts, read 176,042 times
Reputation: 23
Our football players look tough in Black & Gold....It's one of the reasons the Pittsburgh Steelers are so well liked across the country.
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:50 PM
2,652 posts, read 6,991,261 times
Reputation: 1844
I was doing the final moveout touches at my old house, and the new renter showed up wearing a University of Iowa sweatshirt. I told him I was from Iowa, and he quickly acknowledged how great of a school, town and overall program it has.

This was in Tacoma Washington of all places.

On a flight back home (Des Moines) from Seattle, I sat next to a guy who went to Iowa. Once again, we quickly got into a conversation of the "greatness" of the school, city and state all together.

It's a big country, but it seems everyone knows about U of I.

Plus look at all the players in the NFL that came from the Hawkeyes. Bob Sanders, Dallas Clark, Nate Kaeding, Aaron Kampman, Mike Goff, Chad Greenway, Gallery, Roth, and soon to be Sean Greene, Mitch King, Kroul, and a ton of others.
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