No trick headline this time: if interested, this week’s column

Iowa football is so bad now, it would be mean of me to trick people into reading about it with a clickbait headline.

Here is what I’m thinking after the OSU debacle:


Tuesdays with Torbee​

Can Kirk Ferentz turn the ship around once again?


Can Kirk Ferentz turn the ship around once again?

Tory Brecht

Columnist


This time, the apathy feels different. Deeper, more intense.

Despite plans to avoid seeing a bloodletting live, I actually did watch the entire first half of the Iowa-Ohio State game in real time. It unfolded about how I expected: the Iowa offense being an embarrassing no-show with the salty defense hanging on for dear life and standing tough despite the Buckeyes being gifted with short fields repeatedly.

I knew the inevitable collapse was inevitable, and it was. But I greeted it – particularly the long-overdue and hilariously mistimed insertion of quarterback Alex Padilla in a signal of desperation – with detached bemusement. Of course Padilla would turn the ball over and look inept after getting exactly zero playing time in the previous six, eminently winnable games. Of course the willing-but-weary defense would finally succumb to the excellent OSU offense in the fourth quarter. Of course Kirk Ferentz would mutter about execution and making the makeable plays in the post-game news conference.

It's been quite a few years since I felt as I did prior to last week’s game: that Iowa had no chance. But this is the first time since Kirk Ferentz took over that that feeling really didn’t bother me.

I never really bought into the “Ferentz Fatigue” talk back around 2013-14 when fans were grousing about hovering at the .500 mark and failing to win games against solid opponents. We’d seen the coach tweak the program a few times to pull Iowa out of the doldrums previously and I was confident it would happen again. Sure enough, the 2015 team roared to an undefeated regular season and came literal inches from a College Football Playoff appearance.

Unlike many others, at least based on what I’m reading on Hawkeye Report and other platforms, I sincerely believe Ferentz has the coaching chops, intelligence and will to turn around this current nosedive. Not this season, but over the next one or two.
For the first time in this coaching regime, however, I’m not really emotionally invested in that effort.

I am just so tired of how hard Iowa makes offensive football look. I flip around to other channels and virtually every single other team – from lowly Sun Belt crews to top tier SEC teams – fling the ball around, make exciting plays and actually score.
I am tired of the negativity around the nepotism charges swirling around below-average offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz. Not because I think nepotism in coaching is some horrible offense like Cleveland.com reporter Doug Lesmerises pretends to, but because that subject, too, is boring.

No one really cares about nepotism if a team is winning. And frankly, they shouldn't. High-level sports is an extremely niche industry and will continue to be a "who you know" type of profession. So yes, relatives of coaches are going to be common. Hell, people write glowing articles about how nice it is when it works.

The boring part is that this is just another self-inflicted wound by Iowa, based at least somewhat on arrogance. Arrogance that the Ferentzian brain trust was so sure of itself that despite a brutal 2021 offense, not only would Brian continue in that role in 2022, he would also take over quarterback coaching. The result, as we know, is the worst offense and worst quarterback play in modern Big 10 history.

This is why I’m conflicted.

On the one hand, I know Kirk Ferentz is an excellent football coach and has a demonstrated history of identifying and fixing flaws in his program, resulting in stellar seasons. On the other, I know he is also stubborn and inflexible and loathe to embrace change. That latter point is going to be a growing problem considering the speed of evolution the college game is currently undergoing.

I also feel a fair amount of guilt at my ingratitude. Yes, I’m irritated at how non-competitive the 2022 Iowa team is despite having a defense good enough for a conference championship contender. And yes, I lay the blame squarely at the feet of the Ferentzes, who are the architects of that hapless offense.

That said, this football program has brought me an amazing amount of fan joy over the past quarter century. And the Ferentzes are the architects of those seasons. Don’t they deserve my patience to try to mount another reboot?

At the end of the day, however, fan sentiment and what I want is moot.

Kirk’s buyout is massive and I can’t imagine any scenario that would result in him firing his son. Personally, I think a prudent course of action would be for Brian to take a voluntary “demotion” to offensive line coach. You could even soften the landing by positioning the move as him coming back to “fix” the problems the young and poor performing line is displaying this season. It would then behoove Ferentz to go out and find an innovative, high-quality offensive coordinator and turn the entire offensive operation over to him, with minimal oversight. Anything short of that fairly radical move is likely going to mean more boring, below-average offense.

If such a move is made, I can see my apathy waning and my interest piqued again. However, if they triple down and keep this staff intact as-is, I may finally jump off the bandwagon.
 

lucas80

HR King
Gold Member
Jan 30, 2008
100,006
132,917
113
Good decision on the headline. Only you thought you were being clever.
 

lucas80

HR King
Gold Member
Jan 30, 2008
100,006
132,917
113
As I have posted several times, this seems more and more like the end of Hayden's run. Yes, 10 wins last season, but I don't see a rebound to a 10 win team next season. There are too many deficiencies on the offense, and the nepotism thing.
Apathy is building. It is anecdotal, but I have talked to several people who cannot unload tickets for Saturday. 58 and sunny against a beatable team, but no takers. I talked to a guy at the gym today that says his tail gate group normally has 20 people. Only 6 are in for this weekend so far. Now, maybe a bunch drag themselves to Kinnick, but, the apathy is building. If we lose 2-3 it's going to be a Red Out against Nebraska.
 

BlackNGoldBleeder

HR Legend
Jun 23, 2017
43,932
77,104
113
Iowa football is so bad now, it would be mean of me to trick people into reading about it with a clickbait headline.

Here is what I’m thinking after the OSU debacle:


Tuesdays with Torbee​

Can Kirk Ferentz turn the ship around once again?


Can Kirk Ferentz turn the ship around once again?

Tory Brecht

Columnist


This time, the apathy feels different. Deeper, more intense.

Despite plans to avoid seeing a bloodletting live, I actually did watch the entire first half of the Iowa-Ohio State game in real time. It unfolded about how I expected: the Iowa offense being an embarrassing no-show with the salty defense hanging on for dear life and standing tough despite the Buckeyes being gifted with short fields repeatedly.

I knew the inevitable collapse was inevitable, and it was. But I greeted it – particularly the long-overdue and hilariously mistimed insertion of quarterback Alex Padilla in a signal of desperation – with detached bemusement. Of course Padilla would turn the ball over and look inept after getting exactly zero playing time in the previous six, eminently winnable games. Of course the willing-but-weary defense would finally succumb to the excellent OSU offense in the fourth quarter. Of course Kirk Ferentz would mutter about execution and making the makeable plays in the post-game news conference.

It's been quite a few years since I felt as I did prior to last week’s game: that Iowa had no chance. But this is the first time since Kirk Ferentz took over that that feeling really didn’t bother me.

I never really bought into the “Ferentz Fatigue” talk back around 2013-14 when fans were grousing about hovering at the .500 mark and failing to win games against solid opponents. We’d seen the coach tweak the program a few times to pull Iowa out of the doldrums previously and I was confident it would happen again. Sure enough, the 2015 team roared to an undefeated regular season and came literal inches from a College Football Playoff appearance.

Unlike many others, at least based on what I’m reading on Hawkeye Report and other platforms, I sincerely believe Ferentz has the coaching chops, intelligence and will to turn around this current nosedive. Not this season, but over the next one or two.
For the first time in this coaching regime, however, I’m not really emotionally invested in that effort.

I am just so tired of how hard Iowa makes offensive football look. I flip around to other channels and virtually every single other team – from lowly Sun Belt crews to top tier SEC teams – fling the ball around, make exciting plays and actually score.
I am tired of the negativity around the nepotism charges swirling around below-average offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz. Not because I think nepotism in coaching is some horrible offense like Cleveland.com reporter Doug Lesmerises pretends to, but because that subject, too, is boring.

No one really cares about nepotism if a team is winning. And frankly, they shouldn't. High-level sports is an extremely niche industry and will continue to be a "who you know" type of profession. So yes, relatives of coaches are going to be common. Hell, people write glowing articles about how nice it is when it works.

The boring part is that this is just another self-inflicted wound by Iowa, based at least somewhat on arrogance. Arrogance that the Ferentzian brain trust was so sure of itself that despite a brutal 2021 offense, not only would Brian continue in that role in 2022, he would also take over quarterback coaching. The result, as we know, is the worst offense and worst quarterback play in modern Big 10 history.

This is why I’m conflicted.

On the one hand, I know Kirk Ferentz is an excellent football coach and has a demonstrated history of identifying and fixing flaws in his program, resulting in stellar seasons. On the other, I know he is also stubborn and inflexible and loathe to embrace change. That latter point is going to be a growing problem considering the speed of evolution the college game is currently undergoing.

I also feel a fair amount of guilt at my ingratitude. Yes, I’m irritated at how non-competitive the 2022 Iowa team is despite having a defense good enough for a conference championship contender. And yes, I lay the blame squarely at the feet of the Ferentzes, who are the architects of that hapless offense.

That said, this football program has brought me an amazing amount of fan joy over the past quarter century. And the Ferentzes are the architects of those seasons. Don’t they deserve my patience to try to mount another reboot?

At the end of the day, however, fan sentiment and what I want is moot.

Kirk’s buyout is massive and I can’t imagine any scenario that would result in him firing his son. Personally, I think a prudent course of action would be for Brian to take a voluntary “demotion” to offensive line coach. You could even soften the landing by positioning the move as him coming back to “fix” the problems the young and poor performing line is displaying this season. It would then behoove Ferentz to go out and find an innovative, high-quality offensive coordinator and turn the entire offensive operation over to him, with minimal oversight. Anything short of that fairly radical move is likely going to mean more boring, below-average offense.

If such a move is made, I can see my apathy waning and my interest piqued again. However, if they triple down and keep this staff intact as-is, I may finally jump off the bandwagon.
Good article. The only way it’s fixable is to bring in and actual OC and quarterback coach AND to give them free reign.
 

Jan Itor

HR Legend
Jan 31, 2009
29,327
13,152
113
Iowa football is so bad now, it would be mean of me to trick people into reading about it with a clickbait headline.

Here is what I’m thinking after the OSU debacle:


Tuesdays with Torbee​

Can Kirk Ferentz turn the ship around once again?


Can Kirk Ferentz turn the ship around once again?

Tory Brecht

Columnist


This time, the apathy feels different. Deeper, more intense.

Despite plans to avoid seeing a bloodletting live, I actually did watch the entire first half of the Iowa-Ohio State game in real time. It unfolded about how I expected: the Iowa offense being an embarrassing no-show with the salty defense hanging on for dear life and standing tough despite the Buckeyes being gifted with short fields repeatedly.

I knew the inevitable collapse was inevitable, and it was. But I greeted it – particularly the long-overdue and hilariously mistimed insertion of quarterback Alex Padilla in a signal of desperation – with detached bemusement. Of course Padilla would turn the ball over and look inept after getting exactly zero playing time in the previous six, eminently winnable games. Of course the willing-but-weary defense would finally succumb to the excellent OSU offense in the fourth quarter. Of course Kirk Ferentz would mutter about execution and making the makeable plays in the post-game news conference.

It's been quite a few years since I felt as I did prior to last week’s game: that Iowa had no chance. But this is the first time since Kirk Ferentz took over that that feeling really didn’t bother me.

I never really bought into the “Ferentz Fatigue” talk back around 2013-14 when fans were grousing about hovering at the .500 mark and failing to win games against solid opponents. We’d seen the coach tweak the program a few times to pull Iowa out of the doldrums previously and I was confident it would happen again. Sure enough, the 2015 team roared to an undefeated regular season and came literal inches from a College Football Playoff appearance.

Unlike many others, at least based on what I’m reading on Hawkeye Report and other platforms, I sincerely believe Ferentz has the coaching chops, intelligence and will to turn around this current nosedive. Not this season, but over the next one or two.
For the first time in this coaching regime, however, I’m not really emotionally invested in that effort.

I am just so tired of how hard Iowa makes offensive football look. I flip around to other channels and virtually every single other team – from lowly Sun Belt crews to top tier SEC teams – fling the ball around, make exciting plays and actually score.
I am tired of the negativity around the nepotism charges swirling around below-average offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz. Not because I think nepotism in coaching is some horrible offense like Cleveland.com reporter Doug Lesmerises pretends to, but because that subject, too, is boring.

No one really cares about nepotism if a team is winning. And frankly, they shouldn't. High-level sports is an extremely niche industry and will continue to be a "who you know" type of profession. So yes, relatives of coaches are going to be common. Hell, people write glowing articles about how nice it is when it works.

The boring part is that this is just another self-inflicted wound by Iowa, based at least somewhat on arrogance. Arrogance that the Ferentzian brain trust was so sure of itself that despite a brutal 2021 offense, not only would Brian continue in that role in 2022, he would also take over quarterback coaching. The result, as we know, is the worst offense and worst quarterback play in modern Big 10 history.

This is why I’m conflicted.

On the one hand, I know Kirk Ferentz is an excellent football coach and has a demonstrated history of identifying and fixing flaws in his program, resulting in stellar seasons. On the other, I know he is also stubborn and inflexible and loathe to embrace change. That latter point is going to be a growing problem considering the speed of evolution the college game is currently undergoing.

I also feel a fair amount of guilt at my ingratitude. Yes, I’m irritated at how non-competitive the 2022 Iowa team is despite having a defense good enough for a conference championship contender. And yes, I lay the blame squarely at the feet of the Ferentzes, who are the architects of that hapless offense.

That said, this football program has brought me an amazing amount of fan joy over the past quarter century. And the Ferentzes are the architects of those seasons. Don’t they deserve my patience to try to mount another reboot?

At the end of the day, however, fan sentiment and what I want is moot.

Kirk’s buyout is massive and I can’t imagine any scenario that would result in him firing his son. Personally, I think a prudent course of action would be for Brian to take a voluntary “demotion” to offensive line coach. You could even soften the landing by positioning the move as him coming back to “fix” the problems the young and poor performing line is displaying this season. It would then behoove Ferentz to go out and find an innovative, high-quality offensive coordinator and turn the entire offensive operation over to him, with minimal oversight. Anything short of that fairly radical move is likely going to mean more boring, below-average offense.

If such a move is made, I can see my apathy waning and my interest piqued again. However, if they triple down and keep this staff intact as-is, I may finally jump off the bandwagon.
Fiction. ;)
 

Finance85

HR Legend
Oct 22, 2003
18,829
20,314
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Yes, nepotism isn't a problem as long as the team is performing. It becomes a problem when the head coach refuses to do something about it. FSU went through the same thing with Jeff Bowden at OC. Jeff was bought out by the FSU Boosters.
 
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Mar 11, 2020
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Here is where I'm at:


I'm 37 years old, KF has been Iowa football since I was like 12, for all intents and purposes his style is all I have ever watched, and I'm ready for something new. I agree, that with time, kf could get this team back to 8-9 wins but I'm not interested in watching the rebuild AGAIN to end up with a product that prides itself in making the game as boring as possible to win. So what are you going to do? Let him have 2-3 years to have 2-3 more "good" years? That's dumb. We "know" we can't compete with "bama" for national championships so really we are playing for a vacation bowl, there are many coaches that could bring in a product that would consistently get us to a bowl.
 
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Greenway4Prez

HR Legend
Jan 10, 2005
24,210
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I don’t think I’ll ever truly reach apathy, and it’s because I watch so much college football that what Iowa is doing can’t help but make me angry.

The thing is, I don’t WANT high-flying/spread/pass-happy offense at Iowa. I want Utah. Oregon State. Baylor. Arkansas. Those teams will line up and smack you, but they’re committed to it and still are plenty creative whilst having one WR on the field. We can’t commit to any one thing. If we’re going to suck on offense, then let’s suck running it 65 times per game and never letting the clock stop.

The showing on offense on Saturday was beyond putrid. It was a giant eff you to the defense.
 

JupiterHawk

HR Legend
Jan 6, 2005
16,544
23,938
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Jupiter, FL
Here is where I'm at:


I'm 37 years old, KF has been Iowa football since I was like 12, for all intents and purposes his style is all I have ever watched, and I'm ready for something new. I agree, that with time, kf could get this team back to 8-9 wins but I'm not interested in watching the rebuild AGAIN to end up with a product that prides itself in making the game as boring as possible to win. So what are you going to do? Let him have 2-3 years to have 2-3 more "good" years? That's dumb. We "know" we can't compete with "bama" for national championships so really we are playing for a vacation bowl, there are many coaches that could bring in a product that would consistently get us to a bowl.
Counterpoint - Iowa was 1 play from playing Bama in the playoffs in 2015. It's the KF model that can make that happen. How many coaches can do that for Iowa? His great seasons are very good. Two undefeated big ten seasons. You get a guy like Bo Pelini and sure you might win more consistently but never at a peak of KF.

I would take Brett Bielema at this point but his style is another version of KF's style. I think BB would adapt more to changes and player personal issues. If there is a savior for Iowa, it's BB or a new O/C.
 
Counterpoint - Iowa was 1 play from playing Bama in the playoffs in 2015. It's the KF model that can make that happen. How many coaches can do that for Iowa? His great seasons are very good. Two undefeated big ten seasons. You get a guy like Bo Pelini and sure you might win more consistently but never at a peak of KF.

I would take Brett Bielema at this point but his style is another version of KF's style. I think BB would adapt more to changes and player personal issues. If there is a savior for Iowa, it's BB or a new O/C.
My first call post-Kirk is Mark Stoops. Hell, you might even call Bob just to check — believe he’s about 5 years younger than KF. Bring him in the way KSU brought back Bill Snyder with a succession plan in place.
 
Last edited:

Finance85

HR Legend
Oct 22, 2003
18,829
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My first call post-Kirk is Mark Stoops. Hell, you might even call Bob just to check — believe he’s about 5 years younger than KF. Bring him in the way KSU brought back
Check with Tribe76 before calling Bob. He has sources....
 
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