Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz talked about his team’s bowl possibilities and once again dismissed any talk he might leave the school in a meeting with the media Wednesday. Ferentz refused to speculate on the post-season as his team started with a school record nine wins and finished out with a 10-2 overall record. But with the regular season now over, he did make a low-key pitch for his team.
Ferentz says someone asked him if the team was worthy of a B-C-S bowl bid at the end of the season and he said he wasn’t sure because he hadn’t been thinking about it. Ferentz says after thinking about it and watching football over the Thanksgiving weekend, he says the answer is “yes.” He says the things this team accomplished deserve to be recognized.
“As far as our football team, I’m not here to pit us against anyone else, but I think a couple of things that really stand out. If you look at our team, the way they’ve competed on the field, the head-to head results that we’ve had, we did beat six bowl eligible teams, two of them were nonconference teams, we’re proud of that, ” Ferentz says. He says the took on a tough non-conference schedule and embraced it. Iowa beat Penn State, Wisconsin, and Michigan State on the road.
Ferentz says they only lost two games this year, one by a touchdown and were leading that game when their quarterback went down, and took the other game to overtime. He says there’s nothing to be ashamed of in the two teams they lost to, as Northwestern has won 17 games in the last two years and they lost to Ohio State by a field goal in overtime, while the Buckeyes have had “unprecedented success” in the conference over the last five years.
Ferentz says the four losses last year were by an average of three points, with the largest margin being five points. Iowa is thought to be in competition with Penn State for a B-C-S bid. Ferentz says he has great respect for Penn State, but does believe head-to-head results should be figured when it comes down to the selection.
Ferentz says the bottom line is that he has never been to a bad bowl, or had a bad bowl experience and the team will be “very,very enthusiastic” and look forward to the challenge wherever they go. The B-C-S selections will be announced Sunday evening.
The firing of Charlie Weis as Nortre Dame’s head coach led once again to rumors that Ferentz is a candidate for the job. Ferentz was asked about the talk. Ferentz says he has been at Iowa for 11 years now and the people that throw it out in recruiting he tells the recruit to ask the other school about how long their coach has been there. He says he knows his tenure at Iowa is only exceeded by coach Paterno at Penn State and Bowden at Florida State, Mack Brown at Texas and other than them, he doesn’t know who else might have been at a school longer.
Ferentz says he’ll continue to answer the rumors the way he always has. Ferentz says he has told people the same thing for a long time: “I like it at Iowa..I’ve had paychecks from three different places now since 1981, my first fulltime job was here. I’m not a vagabond coach, I like where I am at. I’ve enjoyed very day, ah, not every day, but most days. And uh, I don’t see things changing here.” Ferentz will meet with the media again Sunday evening after the B-C-S selections to talk about the upcoming bowl game.