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What if...

In an ever changing college football world, the what if’s that circle this Iowa Football program are consuming my summer

Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

Without fail, the closer the calendar gets to July, the more my brain increases its need for college football content. I crave it. I NEED it. During the workday, I spin the wax looking for an SEC Replay or Big Ten Football in 60 that I can put on in the background just so I can FEEL football. I DVR ESPN’s Top 25 games from the year before just so I have an option when I just need that little jolt of football. Every Dochterman piece is digested and dissected with a fine tooth comb. Nearly every conversation I have with the group formerly known as SpoCo Radio twists and turns as we try to figure out the who, what, when, where, why and how’s surrounding the Iowa Football program.

That is until I ultimately ruin that healthy debate by saying something bombastic like “None of this matters, Cade’s going to guide us to the playoff”.

It’s a sickness. It’s a curse.

It’s the best.

And while I truly DO believe that Iowa is set up to do something special this season (just check out our Discord Staff Chat if you don’t believe me), my June football brain is utterly fascinated by what will happen when that magical season is in the books and we’re looking toward 2024. Hell, even when I try really hard to be realistic for a few seconds, I’m just as fascinated with what will happen if they go 8-5 again.

There is so much new in front of Iowa once this season ends. New permanent Athletic Director. New Big Ten. New Blue Bloods inside the Big Ten. New coaches. New expectations. New Super Conferences. New Playoff. New version of College Football as we know it. New money. New money to be spent on recruits. New ways to spend money on recruits.

And that’s just the BIG PICTURE stuff.

What happens if Brian Ferentz doesn’t hit his points total? What happens if Brian Ferentz doesn’t hit his point total and Kirk continues to coach football at the University of Iowa for years to come?

Or, on the other side of that coin, what happens if Kirk allows his son to do whatever he wants on offense? And what if allowing his son to open up the playbook results in Brian Ferentz blowing his points total stipulation out of the water? What happens if Iowa wins 10 games and goes to the Big Ten Championship because of it? What happens if they win the Big Ten Championship? What happens if everyone is now IN on Brian Ferentz? What happens if he finally sets himself up to jump back into the NFL?

If that happens, is there a world in which Kirk Ferentz goes out on a high note right before college football turns into NFL-lite knowing he’s accomplished everything he could accomplish in the game he loves while also getting his son into a great position for his career? And if he’s thinking about that, does he tip Brian off before hand and thats why he let’s him take a hold of the reigns to make sure he gets a shot at the HC role?

Does half of Iowa riot if that happens? Or does a season full of USC-like offensive games sell us on the future with Ferentz 2.0 at the helm?

What if none of that happens and Iowa just has a ho-hum 8-win season and everything stays status quo (offense sputters and the defense is elite), is Beth Goetz happy with that? Is Kirk happy with that after relying on the * scoff * portal * scoff * to add depth? Does he look at the landscape and think to himself “I have enough money... I just don’t need this shit anymore” and hangs em up? Is Phil Parker still happy here or does he start to take a few extra phone calls for head coach openings? Does pressure start to build from the outside and internally to the point where moves have to be made to ensure they stay relevant in the new age of college football? Can Iowa afford to be middle of the road without a weak division to help them get national attention while their rivals swing for the fences?

And what if Kirk does retire with his son walking off into the NFL sunset and Gary Barta off to a golf course... who does Beth Goetz hire? Does she immediately name LeVar Woods head coach after a very closed door, University of Iowa-like interview process? Or does Beth Goetz get a little pep in her step and try to match Wisconsin AD Chris McIntosh who has admitted that he chose to “Embrace the opportunity and possibilities ahead for something greater.”? Who would be on that short list of potential coaches that she has written down on her desk somewhere?

So many questions! And I’m sure I can come up with at least 25 more if my child wasn’t crying outside from God knows what.

I’m not saying this is it... but it does feel like a clock is starting to tick for the Iowa Football we’ve come to love. Unless it’s not. But it definitely feels like it 100% is, right? Probably not. It’s Iowa! Kirk will be the head coach of this team for another decade and Brian Ferentz will be here right beside him.

But what happens when he’s not? Is our football crossroads coming along sooner rather than later? Is the foundation in which we have built multiple decades on top of starting to crack and crumble?

I can’t wait to find out.