Michigan blogger Stadium and Main is doing a rundown of relevant games in recent Michigan football history. The latest entry is about the tense matchup with #15 Iowa during the 1997 championship season.
Check it out for an impression on the dominance of that Michigan defense over the Big Ten.
What got my attention, however, was this name: Tavian Banks. Remember him? That guy was goooood. He wasn't much of an NFL'er, but for a small college back he was F-A-S-T and productive.
Things picked up in the 2nd quarter, with Iowa RB Tavian Banks starting the scoring on a 53-yard TD run with 13:29 left in the quarter. It should be noted that if Iowa had won this game, Banks might have been a legitimate Heisman candidate, as he went over 1,000 yards on just his 125th carry of the season (an NCAA record for “fewest carries to break 1,000 yards”)
Ridiculous. I remember back then thinking that Banks had one of the most impressive starts to a season, ever. Thing is, he did it against a slate of: Northern Iowa, 2-9 Tulsa, 1-10 Iowa State, 0-11 Illinois and 10-3 Ohio State---a series of five games that would net Iowa four wins and a scoring average of 46 points/game. Watered down competition, for sure, but I'm still impressed.