Iowa running backs are jinxed.
It's a bold statement, but how else can you explain the epic bad luck that has befallen that position this past year, which includes three backs leaving the team and two suffering ACL tears?
The latest hit?
Freshman running back Barkley Hill suffered a torn ACL at the end of Saturday's scrimmage and will miss the entire 2012 season. He was crossing the goal line when fullback Jacob Reisen and cornerback Torrey Campbell ran into him. Hill's knee buckled and he fell to the turf.
Hill was listed as the team's No. 2 running back.
Sophomore Damon Bullock is still the No. 1 running back and true freshman Greg Garmon will follow. True freshman walk-on Michael Malloy and junior walk-on Andre Dawson also are available, but it's getting pretty thin out there.
So how did Iowa get here?
In January, Mika'il McCall transferred followed by Marcus Coker, who rushed for 1,384 yards and scored 15 touchdowns as a sophomore last season.
In March, Jordan Canzeri suffered an ACL tear during spring football.
In early June, Greg Garmon was arrested for marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia and was suspended in July. That same month, De'Andre Johnson was arrested twice within three days for maintaining a disorderly house and was ticketed for speeding and eluding arrest. He was dismissed from the team in August.
And now Hill.
The blog Black Heart, Gold Pants has referred to Iowa's running back bad luck as AIRBHG, which stands for "Angry Iowa Running Back Hating God." Since 2008, 10 Iowa running backs have left the team and four of those have torn their ACL (per Gazette reporter Marc Morehouse). HawkeyeNation.com actually provides a pretty good timeline of the bad luck Iowa running backs have encountered since 2000 and it's not a pretty picture. In fact, it makes you really believe the position is cursed.
But Canzeri told the Gazette that players don't believe in curses.
"We make jokes about it here and there," Canzeri said, "but we don't believe in it, even with the things that have happened. You just can't have something like that be over your shoulders and you can't let something negative like that be in your head."
Uh huh, says the guy with the torn ACL.