The bye week of a college football season allows for introspection on the season so far and the program as a whole. Fans and media are busy doing just that right now with the Iowa Hawkeyes.
It doesn’t help Iowa’s situation that the Hawkeyes just dropped a rivalry contest in excruciating fashion. Those same old woes reared their ugly head, and Iowa—at least on this occasion—wasn’t able to overcome an offense that remains a national laughingstock.
As a result, Iowa (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) fell to rival Minnesota (4-3, 2-2 Big Ten) for the first time in nine years. The final score was 12-10. It’s the second time in as many seasons the Hawkeyes lost a game in which their opponent failed to score an offensive touchdown.
It has many asking the same question: What’s next for Iowa football? And not in 2023. What’s next beyond this season?
Since the contract was inked, Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz’s “Drive to 325” designated performance objectives have taken on a life of their own. It’s turned into a national media circus.
Through its first eight games, Iowa has scored 156 points — 19.5 points per game. It’s well short of the 25 points per game designated performance objective required for Ferentz to fulfill his contractual amendment.
Iowa would need to score 169 points over its next five games, or average 33.8 points per game. If the Hawkeyes make it to the Big Ten Championship game, Iowa would need to score 194 points over its next six games, which equates to an average of 32.3 points per game.
In other words, it sure doesn’t look like Ferentz and Iowa will meet that designated performance objective. According to the terms of the reworked contract, Ferentz’s contractual agreement would be terminated.
Would his time in Iowa City actually be over, though? Judging the pulse of the Iowa fan base, Hawkeye fans will believe that when they see it.
For now, let’s operate under the scenario that Ferentz is indeed no longer Iowa’s offensive coordinator following the 2023 season. Would that move be enough to truly fix the Hawkeyes’ offensive problems?
One Iowa radio host isn’t convinced it would be. Todd Brommelkamp of 1600 ESPN on KGYM radio is ready for larger waves of change to wash over the Hawkeye football program.
The host of “The Todd Brommelkamp Show” from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. CT actually put together a blog post on the subject in addition to his radio work.
This is going to be difficult for some of you to read. It was difficult for some to hear Monday morning on 1600 ESPN. Difficult isn’t fun. Difficult isn’t easy. Difficult is difficult.
Kirk Ferentz is the only person who can change Iowa Football.
Kirk Ferentz is Iowa Football’s biggest problem.
Kirk Ferentz needs to retire at the end of the season.
I said it so you don’t have to. — Brommelkamp, 1600 ESPN.
Brommelkamp put his voice to a microphone and attached his name to a blog post and opinion that many have probably been saying quietly or privately but haven’t been comfortable speculating about publicly.
Is it time for Kirk Ferentz to retire?
Brommelkamp’s rationale for why it’s time are many of the same items that fans across social media have pointed out: Big Ten expansion, the onset of the transfer portal and the arrival of the name, image and likeness era.
Is Iowa best positioned to be successful now and into the future with Kirk Ferentz navigating this new age of college football? Could it be more successful with someone else running the program?
Kirk Ferentz stepping away of his own accord and retiring also removes the elephant in the room. It wouldn’t have to get immediately messy in regards to Brian Ferentz’s future for interim athletics director Beth Goetz if and when she becomes the full-time AD.
It’s a fair question to ask. How much different or improved will Iowa really be if Brian Ferentz is relieved of his duties but Kirk Ferentz stays?
Everyone knows something has to change. The fact Iowa has ranked 99th, 123rd and currently 116th nationally in scoring offense over the past three seasons is indication enough of that.
The total offense numbers over the past three seasons (No. 121, No. 129 and No. 130 currently) are even more disconcerting.
Kirk Ferentz retiring would come with the unknown: Will Iowa take a major step backward minus the man that has faithfully and successfully led it over the past 24 seasons? It has some fans terrified of what that future might hold.
The reality is that day is happening at some point, though. Why not now?
Even though Kirk Ferentz is the Hawkeyes’ all-time winningest head coach, the idea of watching this program perform like this through the 2029 season with all of the West Coast schools arriving just sounds painful and unrealistic.
At the very least, Brommelkamp makes a compelling argument.
Follow Josh on Twitter: @JoshOnREF
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