Big Ten rankings: No. 17, Ricky Stanzi

February, 25, 2011
2/25/11
2:30
PM ET
The 2010 Big Ten postseason player rankings continue with ...

No. 17: Ricky Stanzi, QB, Iowa, Sr., 6-4, 230

[+] EnlargeIowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi
AP Photo/Charlie NeibergallRicky Stanzi finished his career with a 26-9 record as Iowa's starting quarterback.
2010 numbers: Completed 221 of 345 pass attempts (64.1 percent) for 3,004 yards with 25 touchdowns and six interceptions; ranked 12th nationally in pass efficiency (157.6) and ranked among the nation's top five for most of the season; passed for 200 or more yards in 10 games and fired multiple touchdown passes in eight contests; finished his career 26-9 as Iowa's starting quarterback.

Preseason rank: No. 18 in the preseason Top 25 players

Why he's here: Quarterbacks are primarily judged on wins and in that area Stanzi backslid in 2010, but anyone who watched him saw a much improved player take the field every Saturday. He wasn't nearly as clutch as he was in 2009, but he cut his interceptions total from 15 to 6, increased his touchdown pass total from 17 to 25 and improved his completion ratio by nearly eight percentage points. He ranked among the nation's most efficient passers for much of the season and could even be considered a fringe Heisman Trophy candidate at times. The senior was a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award and a semifinalist for both the Davey O'Brien and Maxwell awards.

If Stanzi could have combined his 2009 crunch-time magic with his 2010 efficiency, he likely would have been in Manhattan in early December. But let's not forget that he was extremely fortunate to even have the chance to win so many close games in 2009. Sure, Stanzi could have been better in the fourth quarter this season, but the same could be said for a Hawkeyes defense that often ran out gas. Stanzi's otherwise superb season shouldn't be discounted, and he should be a good pickup for an NFL team in April.

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