I need to disagree with this...Iowa started the year with a returning national champion, and a returning national finalist in their lineup. I believe Iowa has had three #1 ranked recruiting classes in the last four years. So, I am not buying the poor Iowa, had an empty cupboard. Or the "I never heard of any of these guys, until Tom Brands got them." argument. It is baseless.
Other than Jannsen, Luke Lofthouse, and Rasing every guy in Iowa's line up was a high (top 3-5 at their weights as seniors) level recruit, so you have a good point there.
RIP Jacob Schlottke - 1984-2011
"If Cornell finishes ahead of Iowa with five all americans I'll jump into the Des Moines River after finals." -Herkey#1 8/16/12
Jacob Schlottke---Gone too soon, and the world is a little less bright because of it. RIP, brother.
One, two, Evans is coming for you...
Iowa had a returning champion, a returning runner-up, and a bunch of high-ranked recruits (since they have had the #1 recruiting class 3 of the last 4 years). Penn State had two returning AA's (one from 2010 and one from 2009), and added a runner-up mid-season; along with a bunch of high-ranked recruits. They compare pretty equally, and it turned out that way.
If you saw McD get absolutely pimp-smacked by Oliver their senior year you probably wouldn't have envisioned him as a frosh Natty Champ. I give Brands huge props for turning him into the beast he is.