I don’t know about you, but it was pretty jarring hearing those chants spill out over the NBC broadcast in primetime. It was the defining gut punch of this entire saga.
And if I’m being honest, it’s still sitting kind of weird in the pit of my stomach.
Don’t take that as me saying that the sentiment is wrong or shouldn’t happen (I think the approval rating of dismissing Brian Ferentz has to be 90% or above at this point), but it’s the whole scene that took place at Kinnick Stadium that just feels so weird.
Or maybe it just feels so Iowa.
One minute we have the North Endzone completely annihilating all of Michigan State’s offensive plans. Those fans along with Phil Parker’s defense and LeVar Woods’ special teams unit might be undefeated at Kinnick Stadium under the lights. They absolutely OWNED the Spartans late in that game and their timing was literally perfect. And watching those players in those units perform for that crowd was one of those special “It’s Great to be a Hawkeye” moments that I won’t soon forget.
But then the offense had to take the field. And that same fan base that was raucous and loud and inspiring turned on the one phase of football that continues to falter in every single way.
I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like it before. When the defense and special teams were on the field, Iowa as a whole (both the players and the fans) were in Big Ten Championship form. We were loud. The players in those units were contenders. Collectively, we were at the top of our game. This is why Kinnick Stadium is special. This is why players should want to play at Iowa.
But the minute that horrendous offense came on the field and inevitably sputtered, they flashed their teeth at one of their own and begged for his immediate dismissal.
If I could’ve chosen one magical power to use for 5 minutes, I would’ve wanted to read Kirk’s mind as the fanbase let him know what they think of his OC.
What they think of his son.
Look, I grew up outside of Chicago and thus root for the Bears, White Sox and Bulls. I’ve seen some of the worst of the worst (currently watching it every Sunday!). I’ve seen these fanbases BOO leadership, ownership, players, coaches and sometimes all four all at once.
But I have NEVER seen a fanbase nearly create a earthquake with passion for their defense and special teams and almost in the same breath demand that someone be fired with bitter vitriol.
Can you blame them? I can’t anymore. I said as much last week and I’m here saying it again. We have been an offensive mockery for the better part of two straight years and yet here we are as a fanbase as loud as ever...as long as you aren’t trying to actively run and throw the football.
Outside of some miracle, Brian Ferentz only has eight (maybe nine!) games left as the offensive coordinator of this team. Iowa’s offense is not going to get him what he needs in points. The fan base isn’t going to accept him coming back anymore. The writing is clearly on the wall. But after hearing the chants and just looking at the landscape of future college football, I’m starting to believe more and more that it wont just be one Ferentz walking out of that door at the end of this season.
On to the musings:
- I said it above and I’ll say it again - the North Endzone is special. I can’t imagine the pressure of having to take a snap as a quarterback in that environment. Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh.
- Cooper DeJean just had his breakout game and I expect him to SHINE the rest of the year now. We all know how the schedule shakes out from here and quite honestly, he should have a damn field day against these upcoming offenses and special team units. I know it will never happen in real life, but why shouldn’t the Iowa fanbase have a redux of “The Pose is going Greene, Vote 23” for Coop against, say, Illinois in the middle of November? Maybe something like “The Pose needs new DeJeans, Vote #3”? It’s a work in progress.
- SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN HE ACTUALLY FIELDS A PUNT! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
4. Do you think Phil Parker and LeVar Woods send emails back and forth about the offense? Maybe they meet up at the Hamburg Inn and complain about it over some pancakes? There’s just no way they are comfortable with always having to carry the burden of not only stopping/putting their opponents in precarious situations but also having to score, too, right? Again, if I could only read minds... I’d love to know what those two are thinking on the sidelines as Iowa’s offense finally gets their first third down conversion IN THE FOURTH QUARTER.
5. At halftime Kirk mentioned that Iowa could help Deacon Hill if they could get the run game started. We’ve been waiting for the run game to get started for three years now, Kirk. You think it’s going to happen now? That’s LOL funny.
6. Deacon Hill reminded me of a more...how to say this nicely... portly Nate Stanley. But I think I saw SOMETHING. At least something more than most back up quarterbacks that have come in recently. If he can figure out how to throw with a little more touch and little less heat, I think he can be serviceable at worst. See, just like Nate.
7. How many of you immediately started justifying this win in your dumb Iowa brains the minute it was over? No judgement here because I did it too:
- Shell shocking injury.
- Spartans were fighting for their lives and a coach they respect after being a part of an ongoing scandal.
- Back-up QB getting real and needed reps
- The offensive line can’t keep playing this poorly right? At the very least some new decisions have to be made about their performance.
- Phil Parker will light this defense up after playing somewhat lackadaisical for most of that game and they will hit a new level the rest of the year
- A wins a win!
- Kirk needed to hear the fans openly chant for his SON to be FIRED
- Cooper finally became the best player in the Big Ten and he rides this success into the rest of the season
8. It’s incredible how Kirk Ferentz continues to win games like this. While I’m absolutely sick of it happening this way, I’m also stupidly...proud of it? God I hate myself.