(By Chris Hassel)
The American Football Coaches Association has named Iowa defensive coordinator, Norm Parker, has been named the National Assistant Coach of the Year. Huh?! Parker’s defense ranked 8th in the Big Ten in scoring, and in total defense. This was the worst defense Iowa has had since 2000. The award is supposedly not based entirely on performance, but if it’s called ‘Coach‘ of the Year, coaching has to count for a lot of it.
For the second straight season, the Hawkeyes have more players earning post-season awards, than regular season wins. Eight Hawkeyes were named to All-Big Ten, on Monday. Great players are supposed to equal great teams — but that hasn’t been the case over the last two years.
It sounds like the Hawkeyes are going to end up in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, in Houston. If this is the case, I think we’ll see the smallest gathering of Hawkeye fans at a bowl game in the Ferentz era. Not only are many fans down on their coaching staff, and their program, Houston isn’t exactly a vacation destination. If Hawkeye fans are hoping for a shake-up in the coaching staff, they need to seriously consider not going to the bowl game, and rooting against their team. Yes, rooting for the other team is basically impossible to do if you’re a real fan, but in all honestly, the bowl game means absolutely nothing. If the Hawks win, Ferentz and Barta will spend the off-season talking about how they’ve now won 4 bowl games in a row. Don’t give it to me. The majority of bowl games are just an excuse for the bowls to make money, and for the teams to play another game. 70 teams play in bowl games. It’s not a novelty anymore.
I was disturbed when I tuned into the Hawkeye post-game show, last Friday, and heard Ferentz talking about what an achievement it is to be going to another bowl game (after getting his rear handed to him by Nebraska). Ferentz mentioned how Nebraska is one of the best programs of all-time, yet the Hawkeyes have been to bowl games 10 of the last 11 seasons — more than Nebraska. Give me a break. There’s sugar coating, and then there’s sugar dumping. Ferentz is dumping sugar on a big ol turd if he thinks 7 wins this season is some kind of achievement to be proud of. This was Iowa’s easiest schedule I can ever remember. The Big Ten is down. And so are the Hawkeyes.
Paul Rhoads is being rumored as a possible replacement for the vacant head coaching position at Arizona State. While I don’t think Rhoads wants to go anywhere (or will go anywhere), I do think Iowa State needs to give him a big fat extention/raise this off-season. He shouldn’t be the lowest paid coach in the Big 12 any longer. Rhoads has proven himself in his first three years, and the University needs to give him a few million more reasons to stay in Ames.
The University of Iowa is doing anything, and just about everything, to put fanny’s in the seats at Carver Hawkeye Arena. The Hawks are playing Clemson, in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Wednesday. Not only are the Hawks handing out Bryce Cartwright bobbleheads — they’re letting students get in free. I can’t argue with the gimmicks. Getting fans back to Carver is the single most important thing (outside of winning).