BEFORE THE GAME, THERE WAS TALK ABOUT HOW IT DIDN'T MATTER. After that performance, there's no doubt it mattered. It was over before it began. If you blinked you likely missed a 21-0 start for the young Volunteers. It was a meeting of two programs heading in different directions. The Vols, with a roster full of freshmen and sophomores, easily handled Iowa. Tennessee found their quarterback mid-season. Iowa was struggling to find theirs in the 13th game of the year.
KIRK FERENTZ HAS TO FACE THE CRITICS. He was asked directly about the "temperature" outside of the program. A question about his seat heating up. Ferentz acknowledged winning changes that. He and his staff, if it stays intact this next month, have to figure out how to win again. Ferentz cites his 16 years, some of outstanding success. The last, a 2009 season is now five years ago.
FIRE FERENTZ. It's all over now. All over the Internet that is. From Hawkeye Nation to Husker blogs, opinions are that the Kirk Ferentz era is kaput. Gary Barta said after Iowa's loss to Nebraska that he would evaluate the season after the bowl game. It's after the bowl game now.
Ferentz said evaluation of his staff is ongoing. I don't believe Ferentz is done. It's too expensive. But, I'd wager a few coaches and maybe coordinators will be sent packing in a last attempt to change direction. To deflect for another two years while the buyout slowly gets to a more manageable expense.
TO THE FUTURE. Adam covered the post-game debacle with the quarterbacks and the media and sheriff Ron. According to bowl game reps, C.J. Beathard looks to be the quarterback of the future, but who can really tell. Hawkeye fans worried C.J. would leave and an article published prior to the bowl game in the Tennessean quoting C.J. and his father almost guaranteed it. Ferentz didn't name a 2015 starter. There's plenty of time before the first spring practice starts. The semester starts soon at Iowa. It could be Jake Rudock's last as he'll graduate this spring.
Iowa returns Jordan Canzeri at running back. He had his best game as a Hawkeye. He had more yards in a game at Purdue in 2013 but that was lowly Purdue. The Tennessee defense was perhaps shut down when he and Beathard racked up yards on the ground but he showed Hawk fans what he can do when healthy.
Akrum Wadley and Leshun Daniels will return to battle for carries behind Canzeri. Tevaun Smith will return too. The biggest loss, of course, is at both offensive tackle positions and the depth there is scary.
SOME CONGRATS. The TaxSlayer reps selected a Hawkeye MVP. Josey Jewell won that award.
Also, congrats to Kevonte Martin-Manley for finishing his career as Iowa's all-time receptions leader.
TO HOOPS. Iowa looks to improve to (2-0) in Big Ten play tomorrow when Nebraska comes to visit. Iowa started off conference play with a big road win at Ohio State. Head coach Fran McCaffery credited his team to "re-committing" to the season before that win.
The Huskers, an early season sleeper in the conference, have a (0-1) conference record after a loss at home to Indiana. Despite the (8-5) start to the season for Nebraska, they are a tough team and get that toughness from their coach Tim Miles.
Devyn Marble is back in Orlando after his assignment to Erie. He'll practice today.— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) January 1, 2015
Ravens guard Marshal Yanda named first-team All-Pro by Associated Press panel— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) January 2, 2015
P.S. Check out the Big Ten Network if you're reading this (11:00 am- 1:15 pm CT). The Iowa women are at Rutgers taking on C. Vivian Stringer and her Rutgers team. It's almost half time and we'll get a full recap in the comments later. Also, there's wrestling action today too. Check out the wrestling post and comments for updates.
- Of course, Rick Klatt says "flush it"
- Four seniors, four views of goodbye
- TaxSlayer Bowl notes: Martin-Manley sets receptions record
- Tennessee dominant in TaxSlayer Bowl rout of Iowa
- Game report: Tennessee 45, Iowa 28
- Taxslayer Bowl keys
- Hlas: Cold reality bites for Hawkeye football
- Digital Rewind: Criticism for Hawkeyes from all sides
- Tennessee Downs Iowa in TaxSlayer Bowl, 45-28
- Tennessee overwhelms Iowa in TaxSlayer Bowl
- 3 Takeaways on Iowa's win at Ohio State
- Vols Beat Iowa 45-28!