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B1G 2017: I’m Sorry, Iowa

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Turns out I have quite a lot to be sorry for

Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

In my duties as unofficial Roast Master for the Quadrangle of Hate, it has come to my attention that it is high time for some Iowa hate. I’d like to start out with something first.

I’m sorry.

Yes Iowa fans, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that your sad excuse of an athletic department (and really university as a whole) is so terrified of what happens when you lose a slightly above average football coach and slightly below average athletic director that no amount of departmental incompetence will keep them from contract extensions. I pity you because their concerns are completely justified. You should be terrified. Iowa has 3-9 written all over it. Iowa’s a smarter Iowa State and you all know it. Sure Iowa City is nicer than Ames, but it’s not Madison or the Twin Cities or even Lincoln. It sure as hell isn’t Evanston.

I’m sorry that you all know there really isn’t a good tangible reason to play for Iowa if you’re a supremely talented high schooler. Sure your program’s decent, but Wisconsin’s been significantly better for a recruit’s entire life. If coaches were roller coasters PJ Fleck is Raging Bull at Great America and Ferentz is the usually broken kiddie ride at the county fair in terms of excitement. Nebraska’s got more history than you. Northwestern always beats you. You’re Illinois with pork tenderloin sandwiches. You’ve won the conference the same number of times in that period after all.

I’m sorry that you all know recruits already know that. I’ve seen the gnashing of teeth at Black Heart Gold Pants that you seemingly only compete against MAC schools and future Missouri Valley member Iowa State for recruits. Wisconsin at least goes into Florida and Texas and competes with the other big kids for 4* recruits. If they’re a running back or linebacker we might even sign a few. Sure Ferentz turns his 2* guys whose other top 2 schools were Northern Illinois and Butler (until the recruit found out Butler doesn’t do football scholarships) into NFL guys every now and then, but you can’t beat Stanford in Rose Bowls with those guys.

I’m sorry that while this is the peak of Iowa football, the best that you can expect, you still go 4-8 every once in a while. I’d have to go look up the last time Wisconsin lost 8 games. I think it was 1992 (note: after minimal research on the matter it was actually 1990). Sure Wisconsin only wins 12 games every 5th year too, we just have a habit of going 10-3 the other four years. A Wisconsin rebuilding year still ends in a division title. An Iowa rebuilding year is Wisconsin’s worst season in a quarter century. And this, while still having the only man that keeps Iowa from the inevitable.

I’m sorry because money is only delaying the inevitable. Money doesn’t stop Ferentz from getting older, but it does keep you from being able to buy him out and try to pry Bielema from Arkansas. Bielema’s not getting any younger either. He’ll be 53 by the time Ferentz’s contract is up. And even then, why save Iowa? If he felt he peaked at Wisconsin why take over a program staring at the edge of the abyss? To get manhandled by the guy he used to employ? And in all reality, doesn’t that just make him Ferentz all over again? A grossly overpaid coach there to make sure 7-6 without any real hope of national relevance save one miracle year a decade doesn’t turn into 3-9 every year?

I’m sorry because I can’t even imagine having to subconsciously face the reality of the Iowa football program. You tolerate Ferentz’s contract because you know it’s necessary. You saw what happened with past his prime Hayden Fry and it terrifies you. Wisconsin replaced a guy coming off three straight conference championships with some Mormon from Utah none of us had heard of and won 9 games. Wisconsin then replaced him with a guy that went .500 at Pitt and now at Wisconsin losing to even one team in his own division in any given season is considered an upset. He went 6-0 last year, no reason to think he won’t go 6-0 this year. This is not your reality though, even if you won’t come out and say it.

I’m sorry because I’m not actually sorry. Enjoy your coach you’re paying 5896489649 dollars to go 7-6 every year on the off chance Wisconsin turns the ball over 5 times the year you peak so we don’t win the division literally every single year until Delany is forced to realign the conference. Enjoy the silent terror that if you don’t hit a home run hire after Ferentz your program is monumentally screwed. And most of all, enjoy losing to Minnesota, one of us has to do it.

Get fucked Iowa.