It’s not Brian... Or is it?

jonesy5960

HR Heisman
Sep 6, 2012
6,687
11,700
113
It's Kirk's offense and Brian is somehow just a victim in all of this? This tool uses all of those arcane metrics and the relative strength of the opponents to measure the efficiency of an offense, which I think we can all agree provides a more holistic view of Iowa offensive performance vs total yards or points scored. Kirk's offensive philosophy will never produce a top 20 scoring offense regardless of how efficient they are. This measure takes that slower complementary pace and the opposing defenses into account.


Here are the offensive efficiency rankings out of 130 teams since 2007 when this measure began. Five years of O'Keefe and then five years of Davis precede Brian who took over the offense in 2017. Obviously this year is still in process but given that we are 5 games in it will be close to where the rankings end up.

2007 96
2008 33
2009 80
2010 24
2011 29 O'Keefe avg 52
2012 99
2013 66
2014 63
2015 38
2016 57 Davis avg 65
2017 44
2018 41
2019 53
2020 64
2021 90
2022 96 Brian avg 65

Purely looking at averages, O'Keefe looks like his 5 years at the end of his tenure produced the most efficient offenses although there were huge variations producing 2 of the worst along with the 3 best.

Davis and Brian have the same averages but the over the course of their tenure the trends are/were moving in opposite directions. Davis only truly bad year was his first year which was the worst in the last 16 years. Hard to place all of the blame for that on him. Subsequent years were quite a bit better. Brian's best years on the other hand were his first 2 years. Again, hard to give him all the credit for that. The trend has been downward every year since to where we are today with two of the worst 4 years in the last 16 years. This is also the worst 2 year stretch in the past 16 years with an average of 93, the previous worst being 82 during Davis first 2 years.

I think it's important to recognize that although Kirk's offenses have been uninspiring for the most part, years like the last 2 are outliers and 2 consecutive years like this are historically bad, even for a Kirk offense. There is always hope, but hope is not a strategy, and it's hard to see significant improvements in the near term without significant organizational changes given the trend lines in place today.
 

MeetTheFerentzes

HR MVP
Silver Member
Sep 6, 2022
1,061
2,605
113
TLDR, but you don't need to be a mathematician who is an expert at chi-square testing to figure out that KF is in charge of the offense, his offenses tend to be conservative and not rank very high, and putting Tommy Boy in charge of it has been a disaster that has resulted in what we see on the field today.
 

IsaacHarrison

HR All-American
May 9, 2005
2,586
932
113
What surprises me the most with all of this is that KF put his own son in a position to halter his career. KF knew he wouldnt look good doing this job and hence would put a black eye on his sons coaching career. Its either that or KF gave him the full reign and BF screwed it up.
 

QChawks

HR King
Feb 11, 2013
54,213
76,133
113
Quad Cities
chevy-chase.gif
 

IowasLaw

Team MVP
Gold Member
Nov 19, 2019
268
1,334
93
The excuses made for Brian's ineptitude are reaching new levels. Brian, not Kirk, calls the plays. Brian, not Kirk, makes personnel decisions. Brian, not Kirk, is the QBs coach. Clock management issues, going for it on 4th down, calling time outs...Kirk. The offensive failures are 100% on Brian. It's ignorant to think Kirk is hovering over his 40 year old son's head telling him what plays he can and can't call. Accountability is not a novel concept.
 

LampoonYou

Team MVP
Jun 10, 2021
206
380
63
The excuses made for Brian's ineptitude are reaching new levels. Brian, not Kirk, calls the plays. Brian, not Kirk, makes personnel decisions. Brian, not Kirk, is the QBs coach. Clock management issues, going for it on 4th down, calling time outs...Kirk. The offensive failures are 100% on Brian. It's ignorant to think Kirk is hovering over his 40 year old son's head telling him what plays he can and can't call. Accountability is not a novel concept.
I give credit where credit is due. Phil Parker gets credit for the defense and Kirk for not getting in the way and keeping Phil as DC at Iowa.
BF gets credit for the offensive ineptitude and Kirk gets credit for keeping him in position.
 

jonesy5960

HR Heisman
Sep 6, 2012
6,687
11,700
113
TLDR, but you don't need to be a mathematician who is an expert at chi-square testing to figure out that KF is in charge of the offense, his offenses tend to be conservative and not rank very high, and putting Tommy Boy in charge of it has been a disaster that has resulted in what we see on the field today.
Damn you!! I worked really hard on this!!
 

Hawk_4shur

HR Legend
Jan 2, 2009
16,319
22,492
113
Yes! KF is in charge of the offense!

He's also in charge of the defense and the special teams!

He's the HEAD COACH!

Here is a likely scenario KF gives to his OC -

A. We prefer a pro-set and want to utilize a fullback on many of the sets.

B. We want to possess the ball. That means minimal penalties and turnovers. Shorten the game. Use most of the play clock.

C. Possessing the ball means a solid running game. We need powerful RB's to run inside.

D. We use Zone blocking. (Still not all that sure what they means in todays game)

E. We favor pocket passers over running QB's. The taller the better. Must have high football IQ to read defenses and communicate to the team at the line.

F. We want athletic offensive lineman - big is good if still athletic.

G. Possessing the ball also means we probably aren't going to throw passes on every down, which puts the ball at risk and incompletions stop the clock.

I'm sure there's more to it that this, but these are some of the marching orders he probably gives to the OC.

Is this old fashioned? Sure. Does this list "handcuff" the OC? Maybe. Does this style make is harder to recruit talented QB's and WR's? Probably.

Does it completely ruin any chance to have an offense that's good enough to compete in the B1G and Nationally? Of course not!

This offense belongs to BF. He is in charge of recruiting offensive talent, play design, play calling, practice sessions, film review and game planning - everything on the offensive side of the ball. If he felt trapped or that he had no chance to be successful, he shouldn't have taken the job, or left after a few years when it wasn't working.

This DOES NOT let KF off the hook! It's his offense too! He could change coaches, strategy, recruiting style - whatever it takes to make the offense better! He hasn't.

I blame both. It's total nonsense to give BF a pass for this dismal performance.
 

blhawk

HR Heisman
Oct 30, 2001
6,015
8,766
113
The excuses made for Brian's ineptitude are reaching new levels. Brian, not Kirk, calls the plays. Brian, not Kirk, makes personnel decisions. Brian, not Kirk, is the QBs coach. Clock management issues, going for it on 4th down, calling time outs...Kirk. The offensive failures are 100% on Brian. It's ignorant to think Kirk is hovering over his 40 year old son's head telling him what plays he can and can't call. Accountability is not a novel concept.
Yeah but Kirk approves those plays in the play book that Brian chooses from. I think it fair to say the apple didn't fall far from the tree when it comes to offensive incompetence in that family
 
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ShonnDeereGreene

HR All-State
Jun 8, 2022
585
1,547
93
I’m certainly not going to die on the hill defending BF. But the OP analysis is valuable in that you could easily argue BF was doing an above average job (aka it was working) the first three years - even the fourth. Then last year and this year completely take a dump.

I think it might be more the players, or lack thereof, that is the issue more than the scheme or play calling. That falls on his shoulders too, tho, so it certainly doesn’t absolve him, especially now that he has QBs directly under his umbrella. I think we undervalued how good of QBs we had prior to Petras. We can get into this circular argument again of QB vs OL when it comes to bigger glaring issue. But I still have confidence the OL will improve this year and beyond while the QBs (all of them) appear to not be very good and we likely won’t see any grand development out of them. So to me, it all falls back on QB. If we had even an average one on the team, we probably be in the 50s or 60s in the OPs rankings and in line or slightly better than historical and BF wouldn’t be in the cross hairs as much as he is today.
 

Hawk_4shur

HR Legend
Jan 2, 2009
16,319
22,492
113
I give credit where credit is due. Phil Parker gets credit for the defense and Kirk for not getting in the way and keeping Phil as DC at Iowa.
BF gets credit for the offensive ineptitude and Kirk gets credit for keeping him in position.
It is clearly unfair to say that "KF stays out of Phil's way". We really have no idea how much Phil and KF collaborate on the defense.
 
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pistachio1999

HR All-American
Nov 29, 2021
4,838
5,915
113
The excuses made for Brian's ineptitude are reaching new levels. Brian, not Kirk, calls the plays. Brian, not Kirk, makes personnel decisions. Brian, not Kirk, is the QBs coach. Clock management issues, going for it on 4th down, calling time outs...Kirk. The offensive failures are 100% on Brian. It's ignorant to think Kirk is hovering over his 40 year old son's head telling him what plays he can and can't call. Accountability is not a novel concept.
Midweek bowel movement.
 
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Slappy Pappy

HR Heisman
Nov 24, 2007
6,208
7,340
113
I’m certainly not going to die on the hill defending BF. But the OP analysis is valuable in that you could easily argue BF was doing an above average job (aka it was working) the first three years - even the fourth. Then last year and this year completely take a dump.

I think it might be more the players, or lack thereof, that is the issue more than the scheme or play calling. That falls on his shoulders too, tho, so it certainly doesn’t absolve him, especially now that he has QBs directly under his umbrella. I think we undervalued how good of QBs we had prior to Petras. We can get into this circular argument again of QB vs OL when it comes to bigger glaring issue. But I still have confidence the OL will improve this year and beyond while the QBs (all of them) appear to not be very good and we likely won’t see any grand development out of them. So to me, it all falls back on QB. If we had even an average one on the team, we probably be in the 50s or 60s in the OPs rankings and in line or slightly better than historical and BF wouldn’t be in the cross hairs as much as he is today.
Actually, you could easily argue Brian did so much better his first 2 years because his starters were developed by another coach, and now that it is Brian's years 5 and 6, their (lack of) development and performance is wholly his own! Fact is, Brian did best with another coach's kids, and is failing miserably with his own.
 

jonesy5960

HR Heisman
Sep 6, 2012
6,687
11,700
113
Actually, you could easily argue Brian did so much better his first 2 years because his starters were developed by another coach, and now that it is Brian's years 5 and 6, their (lack of) development and performance is wholly his own! Fact is, Brian did best with another coach's kids, and is failing miserably with his own.
I think there is merit to this argument. Head coaches aren't judged on years 1 and 2 as much as 3-5. By then the players have been mostly replaced and developed by the current coach.
 
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LampoonYou

Team MVP
Jun 10, 2021
206
380
63
It is clearly unfair to say that "KF stays out of Phil's way". We really have no idea how much Phil and KF collaborate on the defense.
Ok, that’s very fair since he is head coach. Then he collaborates on defense AND collaborates on offense. Which then means he in part owns the results even more. KF is head coach and needs to fix the problems on offense.
I sincerely think KF has more then earned the right to be at Iowa. He has built a good clean program for the most part. Some “minor” tarnishes with Rhabo and current player lawsuit but has endured with class and given back to the community. It’s time to see Kirk 10.0 and give our offense an makeover. The BF thing at OC has run it’s course.
 
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uihawk82

HR MVP
Nov 17, 2021
1,145
1,331
113
I’m certainly not going to die on the hill defending BF. But the OP analysis is valuable in that you could easily argue BF was doing an above average job (aka it was working) the first three years - even the fourth. Then last year and this year completely take a dump.

I think it might be more the players, or lack thereof, that is the issue more than the scheme or play calling. That falls on his shoulders too, tho, so it certainly doesn’t absolve him, especially now that he has QBs directly under his umbrella. I think we undervalued how good of QBs we had prior to Petras. We can get into this circular argument again of QB vs OL when it comes to bigger glaring issue. But I still have confidence the OL will improve this year and beyond while the QBs (all of them) appear to not be very good and we likely won’t see any grand development out of them. So to me, it all falls back on QB. If we had even an average one on the team, we probably be in the 50s or 60s in the OPs rankings and in line or slightly better than historical and BF wouldn’t be in the cross hairs as much as he is today.

BF inherited 3 years of players when he took over as OC. He was run game coordinator the few years before and he knew all the soph, junior, and senior offensive players his first year, along with redshirt freshman who hadnt seen the field much. He used those players pretty well, he had an above avg qb in Stanley who got a little better each year.

But now we have a young offensive line, few portal transfers coming in to help, the QB play is below avg overall with occasional avg or even above avg play, very good running backs and TEnds, but except for Brandon Smith and ISM the WRs have been just avg. And with KeeganJ out it is a below avg group.
 

farina1

HR MVP
Gold Member
Mar 17, 2021
1,209
2,727
113
TLDR, but you don't need to be a mathematician who is an expert at chi-square testing to figure out that KF is in charge of the offense, his offenses tend to be conservative and not rank very high, and putting Tommy Boy in charge of it has been a disaster that has resulted in what we see on the field today.
Yep. You can pencil engineer anything to meet your narrative. Unfolding right before our eyes. #130 is the new #65.
 

ShonnDeereGreene

HR All-State
Jun 8, 2022
585
1,547
93
BF inherited 3 years of players when he took over as OC. He was run game coordinator the few years before and he knew all the soph, junior, and senior offensive players his first year, along with redshirt freshman who hadnt seen the field much. He used those players pretty well, he had an above avg qb in Stanley who got a little better each year.

But now we have a young offensive line, few portal transfers coming in to help, the QB play is below avg overall with occasional avg or even above avg play, very good running backs and TEnds, but except for Brandon Smith and ISM the WRs have been just avg. And with KeeganJ out it is a below avg group.
I agree - just playing devils advocate for kicks and grins tho. Does that mean the first three years of BFs rein as OC we pretty good because of Greg Davis? In terms of Iowa offense, those were three pretty decent years. What would we attribute that success to?

but I mostly think it goes back to BF can call a decent offense and use talent in a successful way…when he has it. And a lot goes back to the QB…I’m not sure we’ve had a QB this deficient since Jake Christensen and he lost the job eventually. We just don’t have that guy on the roster right now (apparently).
 

Rambler Hawk

HR Legend
Oct 10, 2001
10,998
3,686
113
Yes! KF is in charge of the offense!

He's also in charge of the defense and the special teams!

He's the HEAD COACH!

Here is a likely scenario KF gives to his OC -

A. We prefer a pro-set and want to utilize a fullback on many of the sets.

B. We want to possess the ball. That means minimal penalties and turnovers. Shorten the game. Use most of the play clock.

C. Possessing the ball means a solid running game. We need powerful RB's to run inside.

D. We use Zone blocking. (Still not all that sure what they means in todays game)

E. We favor pocket passers over running QB's. The taller the better. Must have high football IQ to read defenses and communicate to the team at the line.

F. We want athletic offensive lineman - big is good if still athletic.

G. Possessing the ball also means we probably aren't going to throw passes on every down, which puts the ball at risk and incompletions stop the clock.

I'm sure there's more to it that this, but these are some of the marching orders he probably gives to the OC.

Is this old fashioned? Sure. Does this list "handcuff" the OC? Maybe. Does this style make is harder to recruit talented QB's and WR's? Probably.

Does it completely ruin any chance to have an offense that's good enough to compete in the B1G and Nationally? Of course not!

This offense belongs to BF. He is in charge of recruiting offensive talent, play design, play calling, practice sessions, film review and game planning - everything on the offensive side of the ball. If he felt trapped or that he had no chance to be successful, he shouldn't have taken the job, or left after a few years when it wasn't working.

This DOES NOT let KF off the hook! It's his offense too! He could change coaches, strategy, recruiting style - whatever it takes to make the offense better! He hasn't.

I blame both. It's total nonsense to give BF a pass for this dismal performance.
H. Any RB who doesn't protect the Rock at all times shall be regulated to my dog house until I see fit.....no exceptions.
 
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Hawk_4shur

HR Legend
Jan 2, 2009
16,319
22,492
113
Ok, that’s very fair since he is head coach. Then he collaborates on defense AND collaborates on offense. Which then means he in part owns the results even more. KF is head coach and needs to fix the problems on offense.
I sincerely think KF has more then earned the right to be at Iowa. He has built a good clean program for the most part. Some “minor” tarnishes with Rhabo and current player lawsuit but has endured with class and given back to the community. It’s time to see Kirk 10.0 and give our offense an makeover. The BF thing at OC has run it’s course.
I completely agree.

KF is responsible for the program - the good things and the bad ones.
 
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Dargo

HR MVP
Jun 13, 2020
1,394
3,048
113
Ok, that’s very fair since he is head coach. Then he collaborates on defense AND collaborates on offense. Which then means he in part owns the results even more. KF is head coach and needs to fix the problems on offense.
I sincerely think KF has more then earned the right to be at Iowa. He has built a good clean program for the most part. Some “minor” tarnishes with Rhabo and current player lawsuit but has endured with class and given back to the community. It’s time to see Kirk 10.0 and give our offense a makeover. The BF thing at OC has run it’s course.
Earned the right? What? He’s compensated very well for doing a sub par job. His conference winning percentage is 58%. That’s barely above average, and some of that is playing in the absolute crap west division. He ain’t some kind of savior that Iowa can’t do without, and as far as donating, it’s a tax write off, and making the kind of money he does, that donation is a drop in the bucket. He’s a football coach paid to win games and put a solid product on the field, and as Kirk said himself it is entertainment, and he is putting a product on the field that is anything but entertaining.
 
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DodgerHawki

HR Legend
Nov 19, 2002
10,085
12,446
113
I think there is merit to this argument. Head coaches aren't judged on years 1 and 2 as much as 3-5. By then the players have been mostly replaced and developed by the current coach.
Yes this pretty much shows that Iowa's offenses in 2017-19 were good enough for what Iowa wants. Those Iowa teams lost some heartbreaking close games, but also had some far better offensive talent than what Iowa currently has, including at QB.

Fant, Hockensen, Smith-Marsette, Smith, Jackson, Wirfs, Linderbaum. And a QB (Stanley) who was a draft pick. The offensive side recruiting appears to have really fallen off. OL development should not be absolved of blame here either. Yes, Iowa is playing a lot of young guys. But man, so many plays where guys seem confused about who they are blocking.

Coaching staff is responsible for the talent on the roster. In the end, it doesn't really matter if it's scheme, or talent, or both. When the offense is THIS bad, it makes winning very difficult.
 

sellarsd

All-Conference
Apr 19, 2003
341
584
93
Florida
I believe this has been covered, but I believe it bears repeating in this thread; due to Iowa law, Brian can't technically report to Kirk, correct? He must report to Barta, unless I'm mistaken. Since Barta has no balls and Kirk is basically his boss, Brian's job is as secure as Kirk's, which is awful for Iowa football.
 
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amahawk

HR Heisman
May 1, 2002
5,286
2,242
113
Yes! KF is in charge of the offense!

He's also in charge of the defense and the special teams!

He's the HEAD COACH!

Here is a likely scenario KF gives to his OC -

A. We prefer a pro-set and want to utilize a fullback on many of the sets.

B. We want to possess the ball. That means minimal penalties and turnovers. Shorten the game. Use most of the play clock.

C. Possessing the ball means a solid running game. We need powerful RB's to run inside.

D. We use Zone blocking. (Still not all that sure what they means in todays game)

E. We favor pocket passers over running QB's. The taller the better. Must have high football IQ to read defenses and communicate to the team at the line.

F. We want athletic offensive lineman - big is good if still athletic.

G. Possessing the ball also means we probably aren't going to throw passes on every down, which puts the ball at risk and incompletions stop the clock.

I'm sure there's more to it that this, but these are some of the marching orders he probably gives to the OC.

Is this old fashioned? Sure. Does this list "handcuff" the OC? Maybe. Does this style make is harder to recruit talented QB's and WR's? Probably.

Does it completely ruin any chance to have an offense that's good enough to compete in the B1G and Nationally? Of course not!

This offense belongs to BF. He is in charge of recruiting offensive talent, play design, play calling, practice sessions, film review and game planning - everything on the offensive side of the ball. If he felt trapped or that he had no chance to be successful, he shouldn't have taken the job, or left after a few years when it wasn't working.

This DOES NOT let KF off the hook! It's his offense too! He could change coaches, strategy, recruiting style - whatever it takes to make the offense better! He hasn't.

I blame both. It's total nonsense to give BF a pass for this dismal performanceI see a major mismatch with the desired style of play and the players to run it. to
Kirk does not have the players to run his system. Either change players or the system.
 

jonesy5960

HR Heisman
Sep 6, 2012
6,687
11,700
113
I believe this has been covered, but I believe it bears repeating in this thread; due to Iowa law, Brian can't technically report to Kirk, correct? He must report to Barta, unless I'm mistaken. Since Barta has no balls and Kirk is basically his boss, Brian's job is as secure as Kirk's, which is awful for Iowa football.
Yeah. There's about as much chance of you being the new Mr Gisele Bundchen as Barta firing Brian.
 

longliveCS40

HR Legend
Oct 25, 2002
14,943
13,977
113
The numbers are based on different personnel so it's very hard to say the numbers were due to the OC. I certainly think this year's offensive issues are related more to the offensive line and QB than the plays being called.
 
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LampoonYou

Team MVP
Jun 10, 2021
206
380
63
Earned the right? What? He’s compensated very well for doing a sub par job. His conference winning percentage is 58%. That’s barely above average, and some of that is playing in the absolute crap west division. He ain’t some kind of savior that Iowa can’t do without, and as far as donating, it’s a tax write off, and making the kind of money he does, that donation is a drop in the bucket. He’s a football coach paid to win games and put a solid product on the field, and as Kirk said himself it is entertainment, and he is putting a product on the field that is anything but entertaining.
You are correct that the offense is not anywhere close to entertainment. Defense and special teams are very good. 2 of the 3 parts are in place. As far as monetary compensation I for one think it’s fair for the position. My whole beef is offense and the current state of affairs. The “current state” includes ineptitude over last few years so this isn’t just a 2022 conclusion for me. We’ve developed good TE’s and OL players to NFL with limited advancement to the positions at QB, WR and running backs. This is evidence of the inept offensive output. We need a change in offensive leadership and Kirk must be the head coach he’s paid to be and pull the trigger.
 

jonesy5960

HR Heisman
Sep 6, 2012
6,687
11,700
113
The numbers are based on different personnel so it's very hard to say the numbers were due to the OC. I certainly think this year's offensive issues are related more to the offensive line and QB than the plays being called.
I don't give the coaching staff, particularly the HC, OC, or DC a pass for failing to recruit/develop personnel to execute their schemes. It's the most important part of their jobs.
 

longliveCS40

HR Legend
Oct 25, 2002
14,943
13,977
113
I don't give the coaching staff, particularly the HC, OC, or DC a pass for failing to recruit/develop personnel to execute their schemes. It's the most important part of their jobs.
I don't either. But this thread is about the OC and not about recruiting. It's certainly disconcerting that the recruiting has failed to the point where we have an offensive line that's this bad. I think that's the real story here.
 

Greenway4Prez

HR Legend
Jan 10, 2005
24,173
17,324
113
I don't either. But this thread is about the OC and not about recruiting. It's certainly disconcerting that the recruiting has failed to the point where we have an offensive line that's this bad. I think that's the real story here.
It’s all about the OL. I get what some have said about Brian’s first few years being his best and now we’ve recessed to his mean. Well, maybe his first few years at OC (and GD’s last few) were a decent stretch because of Brian’s work on the OL.
 

jonesy5960

HR Heisman
Sep 6, 2012
6,687
11,700
113
I don't either. But this thread is about the OC and not about recruiting. It's certainly disconcerting that the recruiting has failed to the point where we have an offensive line that's this bad. I think that's the real story here.
So is the premise then that the OC doesn't have significant role in the recruiting of offensive players? This is where I don't understand why the OC shouldn’t be held to account on every aspect of the final product.
 

longliveCS40

HR Legend
Oct 25, 2002
14,943
13,977
113
So is the premise then that the OC doesn't have significant role in the recruiting of offensive players? This is where I don't understand why the OC shouldn’t be held to account on every aspect of the final product.
I think the OC has a hand in recruiting but probably isn't the lead in that department. I'm not giving Brian a pass. I'm simply saying I don't think the play calling is the problem this season.
 

K OKeefe

HR MVP
Sep 24, 2016
2,128
1,958
113
I just marvel at the people who still try to defend the indefensible Brian Ferentz. I don’t care if it’s his or daddy’s, IT STINKS!!!
Exactly, well said in a succinct way. "IT STINKS!" The next question is do they let it lay there and stink or do they clean it up- so far they seem to be content with the stench.