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Dr. Saturday

Doc Five: Coaches who could probably use a big season – No. 3, Kirk Ferentz

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This offseason we will count down various topics from Monday through Friday, bringing you the top five of the important and definitely some not so important issues in college football. It's the Doc Five, every week until we will thankfully have actual games to discuss.

COACHES WHO COULD PROBABLY USE A BIG SEASON

NO. 3, KIRK FERENTZ

On second thought, maybe this is wrong.

Is Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz under any real pressure in 2013? In some ways he's one of the coaches with the most job security in America.

Not because of his football team, which has gone from 11 wins to eight to seven to a terrible four-win year in 2012. A 4-8 record is enough to at least put some heat on most coaches. But, they don't all have Ferentz's contract.

Ferentz's contract is one of the all-time cautionary tales for athletic directors. And for agents it's like the "Ulysses" of coaching contracts, a work of art that will be studied and admired for generations. Ferentz has a 10-year, $40 million deal that goes through 2020, and if he's fired he still receives 75 percent of his annual salary for every remaining year. No matter how many times you see that, it's still amazing. Ferentz could go winless this year and probably still not be fired, unless some rich booster wants to pay eight figures for Ferentz to go away. Good luck with that.

[Also: New college football playoff faces a tough dilemma]

But still, making money isn't the only goal a coach has, and the competitive drive that earned Ferentz that contract should be in full effect this year.

Since the end of the 2004 season, Ferentz is 58-44. And 11 of those wins came in 2009. That was the only season of the last seven that Iowa finished higher than fourth in the Big Ten. He has done some very good things with that program, which was in miserable shape when he took over, but it's also worth mentioning he hasn't been to the Rose Bowl yet.

Last season Iowa lost to Iowa State and Central Michigan at home. It lost its last six games. There wasn't anything to get that excited about.

“I don’t think you ever get over it,” Ferentz said, according to the Globe Gazette of north Iowa. “It’s part of your resume.”

Iowa's offense was terrible, and this year they have three quarterbacks who have never thrown a college pass competing for the starting job. The running back situation seems to have finally stabilized a bit, with Mark Weisman and Damon Bullock slated to carry the load, but the offense needs a ton of work. The defense, particularly the anemic pass rush, needs to improve a lot as well.

There were staff changes, which might rejuvenate the program, and it was just a little more than three years ago that Iowa won an Orange Bowl. Ferentz can get the program back to being competitive, and Iowa fans would surely like if it wasn't a long rebuilding process.

“All of us have ownership and it starts with me,” Ferentz said, according to the Globe Gazette. “If you play or coach long enough you are going to experience the good and the bad. The good news is there is no reason why we can’t be successful here.”

Previously on the "Doc Five"
5. Steve Spurrier
4. Gary Pinkel

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