Ferentz Under Fire, ISU In Full, Halloween Hangover

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  • Nothing has changed in my thinking since Saturday. Iowa’s loss to Minnesota for a second year in a row remains inexplicable. The Gophers are who we thought they were. Doesn’t mean they weren’t trying to win. But you can’t take a 21-10 4th quarter lead against a bad football team, and help that team pull off the upset with head-scratching moves, and non-moves.
  • Not prepared for an onside kick with 8 minutes to go against a team with a porous defense and nothing to lose? More than two minutes of clock, needing only a field goal, and your running back with 252 yards rushing isn’t even on the field as a decoy? A near unguardable 6-4 play-making receiver never sees the football come his way at crunch time? This is how to lose when you shouldn’t.
  • It’s a bad loss. It doesn’t mean Kirk Ferentz and his staff forgot how to coach. They had a bad day. I’ve had many.
  • Fans have every right to be frustrated, and to express that frustration. However, Ferentz has earned some goodwill. For the top ten finishes, for the Big Ten co-championships, for the three straight bowl wins, for the staying at Iowa. That’s not to say Iowa couldn’t use an infusion of fresh ideas and new energy. We all get in ruts at our jobs, and sometimes need to shake things up. Ferentz is not above criticism or reproach, but fans should remember, if Iowa beats Michigan Saturday, most everything feels better.
  • Another sign of the economic strain: emails critical of Ferentz sent to SoundOFF often point out how much money Ferentz makes. There is no doubt in my mind the ridiculous salaries we now pay elite coaches make fans more demanding. Those fans need to remember Ferentz isn’t paid on wins and losses alone. Iowa football has become a cash cow for the U of I, and Ferentz benefits from that, above all else. He doesn’t win like the other top 5 coache$, but the reality is it’s harder to win at Iowa than Alabama or Oklahoma. Fans don’t want to hear that. Doesn’t make it any less true.
  • Enough about that. I can’t get away from it. Emails and calls to SoundOFF and the Murph & Andy Show just won’t stop.
  • I think Iowa State played better at Texas Tech, start to finish, than any Cyclone team I’ve ever seen, given the setting, the level of opponent, and expectations.
  • How did ISU play that well at Texas Tech, and that badly at Missouri?
  • When was the last time ISU was a 14 point favorite in a Big 12 game?
  • 30 minutes worth of goodness.
  • Underrated Halloween candy: Milk Duds, Charleston Chew, Good & Plenty. Overrated: Almond Joy, Mounds, Bit O’Honey.
  • Anna helps out.
  • I don’t follow the show Biggest Loser, but every time I watch it, I get all emotional. It’s hard not to cheer people who are trying to make their lives better.
  • ESPN film “Unguarded” shows grip, desperation, and heartbreak of addiction. Chris Herren’s rise, fall, and rise ultimately uplifting. A must see. Catch a repeat of this moving documentary Saturday at 6 a.m. on ESPN2. Bring tissues.
Chris Herren

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