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Since Kirk Ferentz’s decade-long extension, Iowa’s lost to an FCS team and a bad Northwestern

The Northwestern loss is the more shameful one, to be clear. And almost lost to Rutgers.

Iowa v Rutgers Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

About a month ago, Iowa gave its previously maligned head coach, Kirk Ferentz, a colossal new contract. It outdid his previous colossal contract, which had been the subject of jokes for years, until Iowa broke out of a run of mediocrity to make a Rose Bowl.

Coming off the heels of a 12-2 football season that saw Iowa reach the Rose Bowl, the very coach whose contract was criticized head-to-toe by everyone with a keyboard, has… well … gotten a shiny new contract that will surely be ridiculed, for it is even more preposterous than the piece of paper that preceded it.

Ferentz had four years left on his previous agreement with the school, which paid him about $4 million a year. Now, he’ll be making $4.5 million a year through 2025, or whenever he decides to retire and hand the reigns to his son Brian, whom this contract more or less names as the next coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes football team. The new contract allows Kirk to leave Iowa on his own terms, which is as sure a sign as any of having the athletic director in your pocket.

Nothing about the contract made any sense. If Iowa had solicited advice before agreeing to it, everyone would’ve urged the school to reconsider.

Since the contract, the following things have happened.

  1. Iowa’s lost to FCS North Dakota State at home, a game whose contract cost Iowa $500,000. That’s not that embarrassing, since the Bison have now beaten six FBS programs in a row, but none of those others was a preseason favorite to win a Power 5 division and a reigning Rose Bowl attendee. Also, we literally warned Iowa for years not to play the game, and did the Hawkeyes listen? No. Instead, they extended Kirk Ferentz.
  2. A week later, Iowa nearly lost at Rutgers, which just lost to Ohio State by 58 points and is in the Big Ten strictly because its campus is within shouting distance of people who could drive a short while and be within shouting distance of New York City.
  3. And then Iowa lost to Northwestern on Saturday, 38-31, which wouldn’t have been all that shameful in recent years — Ferentz has done it eight times now — but is a pretty bad thing to do this year. NU entered the game at 1-3 with losses to the MAC’s Western Michigan and FCS’ Illinois State.

So! Yeah! That new contract is off to a really bad start!