In the past nine months alone, "AIRBHG" (as he's not-so-affectionately known among Hawkeye fans) has already claimed Marcus Coker (dismissed from the team after assault investigation), Mika'il McCall (transfer) Jordan Canzeri (torn ACL) and De'Andre Johnson (dismissed for legal troubles) from the depth chart, in addition to saddling Greg Garmon with an arrest on marijuana charges. So no one was expecting good news after true freshman and potential starter Hill injured his knee in an end-zone collision at Saturday's scrimmage.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz confirmed in a statement Tuesday that Hill has indeed torn his ACL and will miss the entire 2012 season.
"Barkley Hill's knee injury during Saturday's practice will require ACL reconstruction surgery later this week," said Ferentz.
Freshman defensive back Ruben Lile will also miss the season following ACL surgery, but thanks to the wrath of AIRBHG, it's tailback where bodies are needed most and why Hill's injury will draw far more attention. The starting job may now fall to sophomore Damon Bullock, the only back on the Hawkeye roster to have taken a handoff in live action--he carried 10 times for 20 yards in mop-up duty in 2011.
A highly regarded recruit out of Pennsylvania who picked the Hawkeyes over several other offer across the Big Ten and even the SEC, Garmon will have every opportunity to win the job if he can continue to keep his nose clean. But even in that now best-case scenario, Hawkeye fans will have to wonder about what might have been; even before this past season's wave of attrition, the top three backs on the expected 2010 depth chart -- Adam Robinson, Jewel Hampton, and Brandon Wegher -- had all been lost either to injury or off-field issues.
That's a staggering seven running backs evicted from the 2012 roster in a little more than 24 months, and 10 gone from the team since 2008 (with four torn ACLs). If there's a more malevolent force in college football than AIRBHG (maybe UCLA Quarterback Hating God?), we're not aware of him.