Kirk Ferentz continues to silence the crowd that wanted him gone at the end of last year as he adds another National Coach of the Year award to his resume.
Confused, emotionally drained, and maybe even a little pissed off. I think that pretty much sums up how Hawkeye fans felt after Iowa was waxed in the TaxSlayer Bowl almost 365 days ago by the Tennessee Volunteers. After an extremely disappointing regular season that saw the Hawkeyes finish 7-5, fans still had a glimmer of hope with that bowl game.
However, after Iowa fell down 42-7, it was all over. The drubbing had Iowa fans calling for Ferentz’s head, I know I was. I didn’t think he was up to the task anymore. After a 2009 season that saw the Hawkeyes go 11-2, it was five straight seasons of pure mediocrity.
Something had to change, right?
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Well, I guess not.
Ferentz finally found his man at quarterback in C.J. Beathard, after he poorly experimented between he and now Michigan quarterback, Jake Rudock, throughout the 2014 season, and that seemed to be all it took. Beathard stepped in and was instantly a leader. When he spoke, his guys listened. To go along with Beathard, the Iowa defense, which was terrible last season, finished 13th out of 128 in terms of points given up per game.
Kirk was often criticized for his conservative play calling. We saw that somewhat change in the 2015 season. He was going for it on fourth down and faking field goals. Who is this man?!
These 2015 Hawkeyes looked like a completely different team as they cruised to a 12-1 season. That would be enough to net Ferentz three National Coach of the Year Awards including his latest, the Bobby Dodd trophy, which is the nations most coveted coaching award. Ferentz also won the Eddie Robinson Award and the Woody Hayes Award earlier in December.
It’s just crazy to think about how we went from a steaming pile of poo last season to being one win away from playing in the College Football Playoff this season.
You can chalk it up to a favorable schedule or you can credit a talented team for winning all their regular season games and coming up just short of playing for a possible National Championship.
Either way you slice it, Iowa is 12-1, playing in the Rose Bowl for the first time in 25 years, and will be taking the field on Friday behind one of the best college football coaches in America, Kirk Ferentz.
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