When you talk about Iowa football, it’s hard to imagine not including a man who has been with the program at the helm for 15 years, Kirk Ferentz. Ferentz is entering his 16th year as head coach, and is only the second head coach the Hawkeyes have had since 1979. He’s also the second winningest coach in school history behind only Hayden Fry. It has never been as bad as Ferentz’s first year in 1999, when the team only won one game. 2002-2004 has been the best span during his 15 seasons in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes went 31-7, going 2-1 in bowl games, with two Big 10 championships (co-champs in 2004).
In 2009, Iowa went 11-2, and beat Georgia Tech in the 2010 Orange Bowl; however, the last four years have been mediocre. During this span the Hawkeyes finished 4th in the Big 10 in 2010, 4th in 2011, and 5th in 2012 in the Legends Division, but managed to finish tied for 2nd in the Legends despite three losses. Iowa has also had a rough time winning a bowl game since 2010.
A thee point loss at home out of the gate against last years’ MAC champion Northern Illinois could have kept the 2013 Hawkeyes down in the abyss for the entire season. But the team was able to rebound and win four straight, however, a tough October with losses to Michigan State (Big 10 champs) and Ohio State (Big 10 runner-up), then an early November loss to Wisconsin derailed all the momentum. Iowa was able to pull out difficult road tasks in Lincoln and West Lafayette, but lost by seven to LSU in the Outback Bowl.
An 8-5 finish was disappointing, but can the Hawkeyes pull out a couple more victories in 2014 and eclipse 10 wins?