Posted by: marcmwm | June 16, 2009

Kirk Ferentz transcript from “College Football Live” (plus some thoughts)

College Football Live

This is from ESPN’s “College Football Live” from late last week, when the show highlighted college football in the state of Iowa.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz was a guest on the show. A lot of Iowa fans caught it, but in case you didn’t, here is what Ferentz said.

On Iowa: “It’s just a great place to be. I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pa. I first came out here in 1981. I think what I first learned, I think everyone knows in Pittsburgh, it’s a Steelers’ town. What I learned in ’81 — and it’s clearly the truth since that time — is the Hawkeyes are the Steelers of this state. We have great fan interest from border to border. We don’t have any professional teams here at all. That gives us a nice market. I don’t think anybody’s got better fans, more loyal fans, than the University of Iowa.”

Rumored to leave, why do you stay?: “My first couple years I was rumored to leave, I think people were hoping I’d leave. We were 2-18 our first 20 games. At least now it’s changed and shifted a little bit. Actually, what a lot of people don’t realize, I’m going into my 20th year here. I was here for nine years as an assistant. I’ve been back for 10 as a head coach. It’s really pretty simple: It’s given us a great place to live. On a personal basis, my wife and I have raised five children and have four out of one high school, the same high school, which is tough to do in coaching. Our youngest one is in ninth grade going into 10th. If we can hang in there three more years, we’ll get five kids out of one high school, that’s a tough thing to do.”

Great players, who stands out?: That’s a tough question. That’s a tough one. That’s like saying, which of your five kids is your favorite? It’s going to get you in trouble. But we’ve had so many great players come through here. You go back to the early stages, Aaron Kampman and LeVar Woods. You move on to Brad Banks, Dallas Clark, Bob Sanders, Robert Gallery, Nate Kaeding . . . just keep going right on through. Greenway, Hodge, we’ve had some tremendous players. Last year, Shonn Greene had a great year.”

Wife from Iowa, went to Iowa State, how big is the rivalry between Iowa State and Iowa?: “We’ve got to straigthen your wife out. I’m sure she’s a nice person. It’s great. It’s been a great rivalry. It’s been a great, great series. The last 10 years, every game we’ve been involved with has been very, very hard fought. It has all the cliches. You throw the records out, that type of thing. When the two teams get together on the field, it’s great competition. More importantly, the whole state, it gives everybody something to anticipate.”

Also, here’s a link to the Ferentz interview on

Hawkeye countdown to kick off thought

How much do you think Ferentz and company like Williamsburg lineman Austin Blythe?

I couldn’t find his football credentials, but the 6-3, 280-pounder has already made waves in state wrestling. He finished as a runner-up in Class 2A as a freshman and won the title last season. But look at it this way, he probably has one season — his sophomore year — of football film and Iowa offered him a scholarship. The last time Iowa offered this early, it was James Morris. That seems to be working out. Blythe is only 16 now and will be a junior next season.

From my observations on Iowa recruiting, if the coaches really, really want an instate kid, they are not afraid to offer early. Keenan Davis also was offered after his sophomore year.

By virtue of an early offer, Blythe joins a fairly elite class. But yes, it’s a long way to February 2011.

Big Ten countdown to kick off thought

ESPN’s Ivan Maisel and Adam Rittenberg talk about a mythical Big Ten vs. Big 12 showdown here.

I would go like this, for the 2009 season:

Iowa over Missouri

Michigan State over Texas Tech

Okie State over Northwestern

Nebraska over Minnesota

Kansas over Wisconsin

Illinois would crush K-State

Colorado would beat Purdue

Texas A&M beats Indiana

Michigan and Baylor would be an intriguing matchup, I’d go Michigan but this is a game I’d want to watch

 Texas beats Penn State, this year and probably last

Ohio State gets OU in a game I’d pick up on pay-per-view

I’d have it about even with the Big 12 holding a 6-5 edge.

Bonus: What did you guys do to CBS Sportsline’s Dennis Dodd? He calls you yappers here. He hates the Big Ten this year, BTW.

National countdown to kickoff thought

The Big 33 high school all-star game between Ohio and Pennsylvania preps is this Saturday. The game kicks off at 6 p.m. on the NFL Network.

The Penn team will try to win its fourth straight. Hawkeye recruit Micah Hyde, out of Fostoria, Ohio, will help Ohio to try to end the streak.



  1. My first couple years I was rumored to leave, I think people were hoping I’d leave.

    Classic KF, pretty comical.

    Thanks a lot for posting this.

  2. Sorry it took so long, E. I have a ton of things popping up right now, mainly the Gazette golf tour. I’ve got to get that off the ground.

  3. I will say it now and I will say it again for the rest of my life: Is there a better person that you could possibly ask for as a head football coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes?

    Thanks for posting, Marc.

    Go Hawks!

  4. You bet, AM.

    My first contact with coach Ferentz was Hawkeye football camp in 1983. I was a TE/LB type and went with the O-linemen one day. Ferentz had everyone laughing. When I switched to D, I was with Dan McCarney. He had everyone ready to suit up and take on the Steelers.

  5. What is the CRG golf tour? Also, has Jones come back from the flood and did any other courses get closed?

  6. E — Jones came back May 22 after closing last June. I’m trying to write a story on that today. Jones was the only one in CR. I think most area courses are OK. I know the Clermont course was beaten up by the Turkey River, but they’ve beaten back the river before there.

    The golf tour is something we’ve been doing since around 2000. Former Gazette sportswriter Mike Koolbeck started it and I took over when he left about five or six years ago now.

    I pick nine courses a summer. Play them, take some pictures (we’ll do video this year) and that’s about it. It’s fun. I try to tell people about the courses and don’t really judge them. I figure if the course is open and thriving, I should try to figure out why people enjoy it.

    The golf tour might live here, too.

  7. The Riverside course also took a beating, losing five holes most of last summer. It’s back, too, though. Got to make it down there this year.

  8. Nice gig dude. Play them for free, take a few pics and write about them.

  9. Somehow, it manages to be stressful. Mostly because of deadlines and vacations and kid stuff.

  10. KF is indeed a terrific dude. In fact I find myself being even more emotional after a big win when I see his emotion. I am a died in the wool true blue Hawk fan and have been for almost 30 years now. Yet I’m at the stage of my life where I am trying to de-emphasize sports more each year. Somehow though having KF as a coach makes me even more emotional or disgusted after a big loss just because I hate to see him lose and the crucifixion that comes thereafter. It’s not even because I think he is infallible as he clearly isn’t. I’ve even been mildly critical of the coaches. But he is so “real” and so sincere (at least he comes off that way) that it is hard not wear his “skin” at times. It’s already tough enuff for us Hawk fans without having a guy that readily admits his failings and seems to live and breathe what we do.

    On that note……for this team to excel it all depends on that passion and effort coming through him to the players. For us I firmly believe we have plenty of talent. More than ever, yet that isn’t what we are about. If we are busting our humps out of season, and the Angerer’s & Edds & Clayborn’s are pumping these guys up and keeping them focused we will be terrific. If Stanzi has seized control of the offense and has the wide outs throwing daily we will be terrific.

    If the focus, effort and passion are there so will be the wins. Just the opinion of a college football junkie.


  11. […] Kirk Ferentz transcript from “College Football Live” (plus some thoughts) This is from ESPN’s “College Football Live” from late last week, when the show highlighted college […] […]

  12. Chad — If you think about it, Iowa makes a living off a small band of “buy-ins.” By that, I mean players who engage in the system from day 1. They don’t always start from day 1, as King and Kroul did. Sometimes, it takes all five years, like Bruggeman. Sometimes they’re hard to find, but then there they are (Angerer). Some of them are there the whole time (Edds).

    I wish I could define that better. I hope you get what I mean.

    Later, look for an interview with Louis Trinca-Pasat. Talked to him today. Have to write about golf first.

  13. Marc,

    Most assuredly I follow you and I agree 100%. It is why Iowa can’t recruit 2 or 3 or even 5, 4 star kids a year with questionable attitudes and expect them to help form a cohesive team. I have often said the recruiting elite who sign 10, 12 or even 15 plus a year can take whomever they want because they weed themselves out with the 4 star kids with 4 star attitudes left to form a cohesive team.

    Life is mostly all about buy in, and sports emulates life. None more so than the university of Iowa football team We need the 4 stars and the 3 stars and the 2 stars and the walk-ons to all come together and make a “unit” Historically we have been better at doing that defensively than we have offensively. We have confidence issues at times, focus issues, even arrogance issues etc, etc, etc……………..KF has a tough job. But the talent is there, will the effort be?!?!


  14. After how things have been turned around after 06-07 I don’t really think arrogance will be an issue here again.

    Then again it’s borderline arrogant of the youngest KF to pull the stunt he did this year.

  15. marc –

    That’s a great way to put it and it also goes a ways to explaining why we had the team implosion in 2006 (and leading into the factors that led to it).

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