Despite all the noise, Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz still among nation’s top-25 coaches for 2023

Say what you want and get riled up about things, it won’t change the fact that Kirk Ferentz is a top college football head coach in America. He has turned the Iowa Hawkeyes into a model of consistency, success, and churning out great men that nearly every fan base in America would gladly take if asked.

As doom and gloom as many painted last year, the Ferentz still led the Hawkeyes to eight wins and a postseason bowl victory. That is as many wins or more than nine Big Ten teams posted last year. Success amongst arguably the best conference in college football if you ask me.

With his work last year, Ferentz has found himself among The Athletic’s (paid subscription) top 25 college football coaching rankings prior to 2023. Ferentz sees himself coming in at No. 22 on the list in 2023 after being No. 18 in 2022.

An 8-5 season isn’t dreadful, but it felt like such a mess because of the issues hovering over the Hawkeyes surrounding Ferentz keeping his son, Brian, in charge of what has been an abysmal offense and watching talented skill players, most notably Charlie Jones, leave Iowa City for better situations. Still, Ferentz finds and develops talent as well as anyone. The 67-year-old is a really, really good football coach, going 43-18 the past five years. – Feldman, The Athletic

Among the top 25 include Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh at No. 4, Penn State’s James Franklin at No. 5, Ohio State’s Ryan Day at No. 6, Wisconsin’s Luke Fickell at No. 11, Nebraska’s Matt Rhule at No. 15, and Illinois’ Bret Bielema at No. 24.

Eyeing down an impending 2023 season that has a sense of “make or break” will test Ferentz and his staff as they have a lot of looming questions to answer. They have to improve on offense, they have a schedule breaking their way before the realignment begins, and they have a real chance to make a run.

So, as it goes, most will count out Ferentz and the Hawkeyes if things take one turn south. That is right when he does his best work and gets the most out of his teams.

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire