Athlon Sports recently released their head coach rankings and they had Iowa football head coach Kirk Ferentz sitting at 20th.
For some reason, the media just doesn’t seem to appreciate what Kirk Ferentz brings to the table. Since taking over a struggling Iowa football program, Kirk Ferentz has had just three losing seasons in twenty (with two coming in his first two seasons). He’s also led the Hawkeyes to five ten-win seasons and seven top-25 finishes.
Yet, when it comes to appreciating the longtime Iowa football head coach, he is often forgotten.
In Athlon Sports recent ranking of all 130 head coaches in college football, Kirk Ferentz was ranked 20th. The 20th doesn’t concern me as much as who is in front of him.
Let’s take a look:
- Scott Frost: He did an amazing job with the University of Central Florida, but UCF is a Group of 5 team. Last year, Nebraska won just four games. I know Scott Frost is a talented coach, and I am truly worried about Nebraska this year, but what has he done to warrant being above Kirk?
- Jim Harbaugh: This guy is flat-out overrated. Michigan is great at having high expectations and losing key games every year. He’s a great recruiter, but nobody does less with more than Jim. Is that really worthy of a higher placement than the Iowa football team’s Kirk Ferentz?
- Brian Kelly: Recruiting talent to Notre Dame is not exactly the most difficult task. The program has an incredible legacy, and it has a ton of exposure. Furthermore, their schedule isn’t exactly on par with the Big Tens. Kelly has had success at Notre Dame, but I feel like it’s less Kelly and more situation.
- Mike Gundy: Gundy’s resume includes six ten-win seasons, but just one top-10 finish in a weaker conference. Oklahoma State has made it to just two major bowls.
- Mike Leach: The Pac-12 isn’t exactly a premier conference and Washington State has won more than ten games just once. Leach’s overall head coaching resume goes back to 2000 though and get this, he has just two seasons where his programs have won ten games or more. Two. Also, his offenses are garbage, and these guys have a significantly smaller chance of producing at the next level.
- Chip Kelly: If you are just judging Chip Kelly by his Oregon days, you would have a believer in me that he should be above Kirk Ferentz, but how are forgetting about his failed NFL stints and the atrocity of last year’s UCLA team. I think Kelly could be above Kirk at some point, but UCLA just had their worst seasons since 1970. How is that better than Kirk again?
So if you take these guys and move them back a bit, I believe Kirk Ferentz should be more in the 13-15 range of head coaches in college football. And while we’re at it, why are Iowa State’s Matt Campbell and Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald in their spots? They should be higher. Iowa State has for the most part been a laughingstock of a program in its history and Campbell has them ready to contend while Fitzgerald has built Northwestern into an annual contender in the Big Ten West division despite even more rigorous academic standards and much less history helping them out.
Per usual though, we’ve got to defend Kirk Ferentz and his coaching skills, but that’s just life as an Iowa football fan these days.