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Harvey Dent and the Iowa Hawkeyes

Tommy Lee Jones could totally play Kirk Ferentz

Middle Tennessee v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

There has been a lot said about the Iowa Hawkeyes this week. Hell, we’ve had podcasts diving deep into (and for some, talking ish about) our offensive coordinator. We’ve had posts dishing “STRAIGHT STATS HOMIE” about BF’s scoring acumen since taking over and where that ranks next to GDGD. We’ve talked about the running game and offensive line and where we belong in this wide world of college football in the micro and macro.

It’s honestly been a bit... over dramatic. And that’s coming from me, Jerry Drama.

Now that’s not to say I’m not guilty of it too. We all are. It’s tough swallowing a loss like Michigan when you’ve built a team to be special since July. So, after wallowing for a bit more on Thursday afternoon (Thanks Boiler!), I decided it was high time to start bathing in some positivity again. Who wants to go through an entire Friday and basically an entire Saturday stewing in the bullshit that was “the Michigan game”? Not me. Not you.

Not anybody.

So I decided to go back in time and look for something that would give me hope. Hope that Brian Ferentz and Kirk Ferentz and Nate Stanley and the offensive line and the running game would get back on track and help this prolific, bend but don’t break defense at home, under the lights, in a winning effort against Penn State.

But I wasn’t looking for just any stat that would help me get along. No sir. What I wanted to know was what KF’s rebound rate was. I wanted to know how many times since 2003 (because that’s as far back as ESPN goes and that’s all I really cared to look at anyways) he lost a game and won the very next one. I also wanted to know how many times he lost to a ranked opponent and beat another ranked opponent the very next game. Is Kirk the Zach Morris/Charles Barkley or the Screech/Carlos Boozer of rebounds?

Here’s what I found (this is long and I’m sorry):

2018 (9-4 overall record)

Lost 28-17 to No. 18 Wisconsin, won at Minnesota two weeks later

Lost 30-24 at No. 17 Penn State, lost at Purdue 38-36, lost against Northwestern 14-10, won the final three games including No. 18 Mississippi State in the Outback Bowl

Final record after a loss: 2-2

2017 (8-5 overall record)

Lost against No. 4 Penn State 21-19, lost at Michigan State 17-10, beat Illinois 45-16

Lost at Northwestern 17-10 in OT, won against Minnesota 17-10

Lost at No. 8 Wisconsin 38-14, lost against Purdue 24-15, won the final two games against Nebraska and Boston College

Final record after a loss: 3-2

2016 (8-5 record)

Lost against North Dakota State 23-21, won at Rutgers 14-7

Lost against Northwestern, won at Minnesota 14-7

Lost at No. 10 Wisconsin 17-9, lost at No. 12 Penn State 41-14, won against No. 3 Michigan 14-13

Lost against No. 17 Florida 30-3 in the Outback Bowl... they absolutely won their 2017 opener but I’m not counting that

Final record after a loss: 3-1 (including the first win after a loss against a ranked team)

2015 (12-2 record)

Lost against No. 5 Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship, lost against No. 6 Stanford and we all know how bad that one was

Final Record after a loss: 0-1

2014 (7-6 record)

Lost against Iowa State 20-17, won at Pitt 24-20

Lost at Maryland 38-31, won against Northwestern 48-7

Lost at Minnesota 51-14 (FORGOT ABOUT THIS, UGH), won at Illinois 30-14

Lost against No. 16 Wisconsin 26-24, lost against Nebraska 37-34 (OT), lost against Tennessee 45-28 in the Taxslayer Bowl

Final record after a loss: 3-2

2013 (8-5 record)

Lost against Northern Illinois 30-27, won against Missouri State 28-14

Lost against Michigan State 26-14, lost at No. 4 Ohio State 34-24, won against Northwestern 17-10 (OT)

Lost against No. 24 Wisconsin 28-9, won at Purdue 38-14

Lost against LSU in the Outback Bowl

Final record after a loss: 3-1

2012 (4-8)

Lost against Iowa State 9-6, won against Northern Iowa 27-16

Lost against Central Michigan 32-31, won against Minnesota 31-13

Lost against Penn State 38-14, lost at Northwestern 28-17, lost at Indiana 24-21, lost against Purdue 27-24, lost at No. 21 Michigan 42-17, lost against Nebraska 13-7

Final record after a loss: 2-5

2011 (7-6)

Lost at Iowa State 44-41 (OT), won against Pitt 31-27

Lost at Penn State 13-3, won against Northwestern 41-31

Lost at Minnesota 22-21, won against No. 15 Michigan 24-16

Lost against No. 17 Michigan State 37-21, won at Purdue 31-21

Lost at No. 21 Nebraska 20-7, lost against No. 14 Oklahoma 31-14 in the Insight Bowl

Final record after a loss: 4-1 (0-1 in back-to-back ranked games)

2010 (8-5)

Lost at No. 24 Arizona 34-27, won against Ball State 45-0

Lost against No. 13 Wisconsin, won against No. 5 Michigan State 37-6

Lost at Northwestern 21-17, lost against No. 9 Ohio State 20-17, lost at Minnesota 27-24, won against No. 12 Missouri 27-24 in the Insight Bowl

Final record after a loss: 3-2 (1-0 in back-to-back ranked games)

2009 (11-2)

Lost against Northwestern (SCREW YOU COREY WOOTEN) 17-10, lost at No. 11 Ohio State 27-24 (OT), won against Minnesota 12-0

Final record after a loss: 1-1

2008 (9-4)

Lost at Pitt 21-20, lost against Northwestern 22-17, lost at Michigan State 16-13, won at Indiana 45-9

Lost at Illinois 27-24, won against No. 3 Penn State 24-23

Final record after a loss: 2-2

2007 (6-6)

Lost at Iowa State 15-13, lost at No. 9 Wisconsin 17-13, lost against Indiana 38-20, lost at Penn State 27-7, won against No. 18 Illinois 10-6

Lost at Purdue 31-6, won against Michigan State 34-27 (OT)

Lost against Western Michigan 28-19 to end the season

Final record after a loss: 2-3

2006 (6-7)

Lost against No. 1 Ohio State 38-17, won against Purdue 47-17

Lost at Indiana 31-28, lost at Michigan 20-6, won against Northern Illinois

Lost against Northwestern 21-7, lost against No. 16 Wisconsin 24-21, lost at Minnesota 34-24, lost against No. 18 Texas 26-24 in the Alamo Bowl

Final record after a loss: 2-4

2005 (7-5)

Lost at Iowa State 23-3, won against Northern Iowa 45-21

Lost at No. 8 Ohio State 31-6, won against Illinois 35-7

Lost against Michigan 23-20 (OT), lost at Northwestern 28-27, won at No. 19 Wisconsin 20-10

Lost against No. 16 Florida 31-24 in the Outback Bowl

Final record after a loss: 3-1

2004 (10-2)

Lost at Arizona State 44-7, lost at No, 18 Michigan 30-17, won against Michigan State 38-16

Final record after a loss: 1-1

2003 (10-3)

Lost at Michigan State 20-10, won against No. 9 Michigan 30-27

Lost against No. 8 Ohio State 19-19, won against Penn State 26-14

Lost at No. 16 Purdue 27-14, won against No. 19 Minnesota 40-22

Final record after a loss: 3-0 (1-0 in back-to-back ranked games)

PHEWWWWW. What a wild ride through the past 16 years of Iowa football, huh?

For those keeping track of my horrible math at home, Kirk Ferentz is 37-29 (3-1 in back-to-back ranked games thooooo) after a loss since 2003.


I’m going to be honest with you all, that’s not quite the record I was hoping for. That wasn’t the secret stat line that seemed destined to raise all of our (i.e. my) confidence levels going into Penn State this weekend.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but for some reason, outside of seasons like 2006 and 2007, I truly believed that Iowa bounced back and nabbed a win at about a 75% clip after a loss. I thought they always figured out a way to limit the bleeding. Terrible after the bye? Sure. But after a loss? No, no, no. Kirk always got the boys back up and ready to play.

Apparently I was wrong.

After looking a little deeper into those back-to-back losses, I found that 16 of the 29 total were by 7-points or less. Perhaps what my dumb dumb brain was remembering is how often Iowa had the opportunity to win in those games and I took them as moral victories?

Hey, 80% of the time, Iowa had the chance to win every time.

Granted, I don’t know what other top Big Ten teams record after a loss is nor do I have the time to look into it. This in and of itself took way too long. But wouldn’t it be a little shocking if they (Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin to be specific) didn’t limit back-to-back losses at a rate closer to that 75% clip I was imagining? Is it concerning that after a loss Iowa basically flips a coin and if it lands on heads it’s a win and tails is another loss? Or are we satisfied that the majority of the time, Iowa has a chance?

I honestly don’t know. I’m in way too deep. This is something more for BoilerHawk to dissect closer for me. All I know is, I’m upset with myself for even looking into this. This was supposed to be my saving grace... and instead, I now know that Kirk Ferentz is basically Harvey Dent.

NOTE FROM BOILERHAWK: “Here’s some optimism! Iowa is 20-7 at home after a road loss and 16-7 in conference games!”

Big Ten picks in bold for this week

Michigan -23 @ Illinois

Maryland -3.5 @ Purdue

Rutgers @ Indiana -27.5

Michigan State @ Wisconsin -10.5

Penn State -3 @ Iowa

Nebraska @ Minnesota -7.5