State university rankings are done according to 16 parameters; these parameters are linked to the main concerns future students or parents might have while choosing a university. So the yearly rankings that are done, essentially show future students the trend the universities they're looking for are taking and whether they should reprioritize their lists or not. Another important factor while looking at rankings is to analyze in between the lines and see how well the university is performing on the vision it has set for itself.
The University of Iowa took a hit this year in the newest rankings of public universities. They went down seven spots in the rankings, and the president of Iowa City Institution claimed that this was down to a lack of resources and funding to the university, this funding gap makes it a priority of the students and parents on what they deem more important, if they don't invest in education then these will be the results.
It's as simple as you reap what you sow and in this day and age, you get what you pay for. The University of California in Los Angeles claimed a spot, while the University of Iowa dropped to 38th.