The Iowa Hawkeyes (5-4, 2-3 Big Ten) have had the same head coach since 1999 and while Kirk Ferentz has been a great leader, it’s time that Iowa and Ferentz had a change of scenery.
The Hawkeyes’ 28-9 loss at home on Saturday to no. 24 Wisconsin further validates the fact that the Hawkeyes are no longer moving in the right direction with Ferentz at the helm.
During the past five years, Iowa has gone 39-25 and 21-19 in the Big Ten – Ferentz also has an impressive 3-1 Bowl record.
The issue however, is that Ferentz is quickly becoming a coach who’s unable to adjust to college football’s new landscape. Ferentz’s play calling is notoriously conservative and is still built around an old-fashion running back in Mark Weisman.
Iowa’s inability to field athletes capable of competing with the Big Ten’s best is a big reason why the Hawkeyes lost their third conference game of the season.
Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon and James White aren’t the nations fastest running backs but they are capable of that explosive burst more often than Weisman. White led all rushers on Saturday with 162 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns – Weisman managed just 15 yards on 9 carries.
The Hawkeyes’ defense was solid for most of the game but still allowed the Badgers and Joel Stave to score 28 points. Iowa’s offense had another poor showing – only registering nine points – while quarterback Jake Rudock suffered a sprained knee in the third quarter.
Dual-threat quarterbacks and fast, versatile running backs are paving the way for new hybrid offenses in college and in the NFL – while offensive and defensive schemes as a whole are becoming more reliant on speed.
The Hawkeyes aren’t known for their speed and don’t have many players on their roster who are considered speedsters, or even dominant at their position.
Ferentz is known for recruiting players who are overlooked by other teams and molding them into talented starters, and in some cases NFL draftees. Lately though, Ferentz and his staff haven’t been so lucky and are suffering because of it.
In the past few years Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn State and Illinois have all made head coaching changes with the hope of a brighter future.
Ferentz is no longer a savvy recruiter and has rarely been an exceptional play caller. He’s not resembling a coach that can adequately adjust to football’s new obsession with speed and athletes who best fit in those schemes.
If Iowa wants to at least stay within distance of its peers in the Big Ten and hopefully the nations best, then it must make a head coaching change.
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