Big Ten rankings: No. 18, Ricky Stanzi

The Big Ten preseason player rankings, based on past performance and 2010 potential, continue with ...

No. 18: Ricky Stanzi, QB, Iowa, Sr., 6-4, 230

2009 numbers: Owns an 18-4 record as Iowa's starting quarterback and has led team to back-to-back bowl victories (Orange and Outback); ranked fourth in the Big Ten in pass efficiency (131.6 rating) and fifth in passing average (219.7 ypg) in 2009; Iowa went 10-0 in games Stanzi both started and finished in 2009.

Most recent ranking: Unranked in the 2009 postseason player rankings.

Making the case for Stanzi: No player in the Big Ten is tougher to grade than Stanzi. At times, he has been Iowa's worst enemy, throwing interceptions in bunches, four of which were returned for touchdowns last season. Iowa certainly has won in spite of Stanzi. But quarterbacks are judged by wins, and Stanzi has won a lot in his two seasons as the Hawkeyes' starter, boasting an 18-4 record. There isn't a more clutch quarterback in the Big Ten or perhaps the country than Stanzi, who has repeatedly worked his magic in the fourth quarters of games. He's a smart quarterback who knows he needs to limit mistakes, and I expect him to have a more polished senior season. Stanzi has two excellent weapons at his disposal with Derrell Johnson-Koulianos and Marvin McNutt, and Iowa's run game should be better this fall. If a new-look offensive line protects Stanzi, look out for Iowa.

The rundown

  • No. 25: Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt

  • No. 24: Illinois RB Mikel LeShoure

  • No. 23: Iowa DT Karl Klug

  • No. 22: Northwestern LB Quentin Davie

  • No. 21: Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins

  • No. 20: Ohio State LB Brian Rolle

  • No. 19: Wisconsin QB Scott Tolzien