Be Here Now

[Bumped up from diaries... -OPS]

It's tedious and now tasteless, this incessant rumored job-shopping, presumably instigated by Ferentz' agent, our having lost to Directional last Saturday.

At some point (nine years in? maybe) a guy has to be where he is. Ferentz is a fine man who makes 2x the conference mean salary, has a wife who loves him and children who are growing up in a real home going to the same schools in an incredible family town.

He really needs to own his job and life and stop window shopping the alternatives. Or say, "Hey, I'm a coach, this is what coaches do" and go take a job somewhere else. (This would be alcoholic-daddy-coach.)

Frankly, good luck with that. I don't think he is going to be offered any good jobs. It's not that people don't think he can coach or that he's a good guy; it's that the fire has gone out of his team, and they don't show up to play frequently.  This is football, people, not the NBA. If 20 year-olds don't show up to play every minute of every game, the wheels are falling off the wagon. (Nobody's going to come calling Nick Saban this year either, and he can thank L-Monroe for some of that.) That could mean any of several things, but it rests on the coach's shoulders, and it's a nonstarter in the pros or college. And I think he has enough of a track record now--a sufficient sample set--that people in college are going to question his recruiting. There are black holes in each recruiting class leading to strange anomalies on the field: no receivers one year, no running backs another, an all-freshman line one year, an all-Johnson County Jail team the next. Then they finally get a top 20 class and half of them are gone in 24 months.  Attrition twice that of Michigan's. Just strange stuff going on in the program.

On top of all that, the offense consistently ranks in the ninth, tenth or eleventh decile nationally and it's run by a guy he owes from days at Worcester (30 years ago?) whose big prior job was running a D-III team in the Ohio Athletic Conference (they're now in the North Coast Athletic Conference) (I know you Big Ten dudes are up on all this) which is where you play... um... Oberlin and Kenyon. (Where the linebackers are neuroscience majors and english major corners run 4.8's.) Meanwhile, Philbin splits and the O-line is managed by a nice man from West High. In short, he staffs according to peculiar logic and again, the sample is big enough now to express an outcome. It's a program with more questions than it had five years ago.

Ferentz is a good guy who needs to be where he is.  He doesn't need to shop for a future, he needs to build it himself. It's a make-buy decision. Just make the ballclub tough and hungry again and we'll win 7-9 games a year and have some laughs. Spare me the "should I stay or should I go" BS. This is not Hamlet, this is not some drama of the self, this is not Tuesday afternoon at the shrink's. Own the job, own the life, construct the outcome.

And issue a real denial of interest in any other program, for the first time. Be an Iowan.

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