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Iowa Football: Should the Hawkeyes Follow Wisconsin’s Lead?

Two Big Ten West teams have cut their head coach loose. Should Iowa be next?

Syndication: HawkCentral
Is it really time to talk about letting Kirk ride off into the sunset?
Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NCAA. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Iowa Hawkeyes fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate.

The Iowa Hawkeyes dropped their second game of the season and their first conference game of the year when they fell 27-14 to the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday. The overall record at 3-2 and the current standing at 2nd place in the Big Ten West is not troublesome, but the way in which Iowa has gotten there has been.

While things looked better in the loss to Michigan, the offense has been statistically as bad as any team in the country this season and far and away the lowest ranked of the Kirk Ferentz era. It’s not apples to apples, but Hawkeye fans have now watched a pair of Big Ten West rivals cut bait on their head coaches after frustrating starts and embarrassing losses.

Iowa, of course, has not had a truly embarrassing loss this season and despite any frustrations felt by fans about Saturday, the timing to make any moves is probably not right after playing relatively well against a top-5 opponent. That doesn’t, however, mean that the time would not be right at all this year. And that’s where we start our questions this week.

We want to know if what we have seen thus far in 2022 and what you expect to see from the Hawkeye the rest of the way warrants taking the step that both Nebraska and Wisconsin have taken: should Iowa fire Kirk Ferentz? It’s worth noting that the buyout on Ferentz’s contract is at $6M per year remaining. After the year, Kirk still has seven more years left on his deal, meaning it would cost Iowa $42M to fire him after the season. Compare that to the $15M Nebraska paid to part ways with Scott Frost and the $11M Wisconsin negotiated Paul Chryst down to (from $16M per his contract) to walk away mid-season.

Beyond that, we’re following up with the questions we’ve been tracking all season. Will the Hawkeyes emerge victorious this week? And how has your view of the full season outlook changed after Iowa’s loss to Michigan?

Stay tuned for our results later in the week.