Post-season awards vs. Regular season wins

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(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).


  • Anonymous

    I would agree with previous comment. All you do is slam the Hawkeyes. Yes they had a less than stellar year- and it wasn't great last nor will it be next year. BUT they will be back- Ferentz will still be coach (as he should be) maybe KOK and Norm gone- but quit slamming the Hawks! Unbiased news reporting from Channel 13 is a complete joke. You all should start wearing cardinal and gold during the newscasts.

  • Anonymous

    I seem to remember a player on the ISU team in the early 90's who made a Heisman run, and there team was GOD awful. . . . maybe 4 wins a season for awhile. . . TD was his initials. . . . He should never have been in the running for that either, if it was suppose to help his team win. . . Cause they Suuuuucckkkked. . . Apparently there's a difference. ..

  • Emily

    I think it's hilarious that “Anonymous” accuses Hassel of being a Cyclone loyalist… you do know he's a University of Iowa ALUM? And a fan? If we're real Hawk fans we'll call it like we see it and hold our team to a higher standard because we know they're capable of it, rather than make excuses.

    Being honest doesn't = a lack of support.

  • Anonymous

    Chris, you're spot on here. This isn't about bashing Kirk Ferentz and his staff for the past two sub-par seasons. This is about his entire body of work, and the state of the Hawkeye football program. His teams have underachieved in all but 5 of his seasons at Iowa, with'02-'04 and '08 & '09 being the only years where they've met or exceeded expectations. Losses two years in a row to awful Minnesota teams, unable to consistantly beat ISU or Northwestern, yet he's paid the salary of a top D1 coach. Top coaches have their teams prepared to play, and execute a game plan that can beat lesser teams and compete with superior ones. You cannot say that the past two seasons Kirk's Hawkeyes have done that. Want to see how quickly a program like Iowa's could fall? Take a look at Kansas, the team that won the 2008 Orange Bowl.

  • Chad

    Wow, Chris…you are an angry person. Cheering against your team in any circumstance is the dumbest thing I've ever read from you. I hope you never consider yourself a Hawkeye fan if this is the attitude that you take. There may be some things to be frustrated about with this year's team, but people will always find something to complain about. Cheering against a team you are considered a fan of is absolutely the worse case of being a “fan”. It may sound cliche, but I think that it is approprirate here – the kids playing are what matters here, and you can criticize the coaches as much as you want, but to ask people to cheer against them because of your opinion of what is wrong with the coaching staff is absolutely ridiculous. Grow up.

  • Evil Adam

    The Heisman trophy is for the most valuable player in football, without Troy Davis Iowa State wins 0 games. That's pretty much the definition of an MVP. In any case…

    Years and years now I've heard WHO called the World Hawkeye Order by Cyclones and heard Hawkeyes claim the sports team is “obvious cyclone fans.” I am pretty sure Hassel is an Iowa Fan (in fact he's straight up said that before), I find it unlikely Murphy cares (he's from Florida as I recall), Andy is from St. Louis, probably doesn't care, and I don't think the Ice Borg cares that much either. Here's my thought, maybe they're actually pretty unbiased….

  • Anonymous

    Actually, Adam….the Heisman is given to the most OUTSTANDING – not valuable – player in college football. A big difference, even though this emphasizes the point about Troy Davis not necessarily adding “value” to his team's amount of success.

  • Chris Hassel

    I'm not a University of Iowa alum, but I grew up a Hawkeye fan. In the interest of full disclosure, I root for both Iowa and ISU, except when they play each other. I think it will be impossible to cheer against them in any game. I just mean that if you want some changes in the program, a bowl loss would do more for you than a bowl victory.

  • Evil Adam

    Point stands, the Heisman doesn't say anywhere in its mission statement “the Heisman goes to the individual who plays on the most winning team in football.” In fact it says absolutely nothing about “team” anywhere in the mission statement on their website. So if your reasoning for saying Troy Davis, or any player, has no right to be in the Heisman hunt because “his team only won 4 games” then you are wrong.

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