|This man is too expensive to fire. (US Presswire)|
What has already been an ugly season for Iowa got even uglier this week following a loss to Northwestern in which the Hawkeyes trailed 28-3 before offering up a couple of cosmetic touchdowns late. The loss left Iowa at 4-4 and needing two wins in its final four games to go bowling.
Two wins that certainly aren't guaranteed, the way Iowa has been playing.
As is often the case when a football team struggles, there are plenty of Iowa fans who would like to see Kirk Ferentz's 14th season in charge of Iowa football be his last. Unfortunately for those fans, Ferentz's boss remains on his side.
“Obviously, we're not playing very well right now,” said Iowa athletic director Gary Barta. “We'll get ready for next week. I have full support for Kirk [Ferentz] and the players.
“If I'm a fan, if I'm a coach, if I'm a player, and as the athletic director, it's tough right now. Right now, the only focus is to get ready to play next week.”
Now, ordinarily you'd see this as the "dreaded vote of confidence" and assume that Kirk Ferentz is doomed. That's just not the case in Iowa City.
Ferentz received a 10-year, $40-million contract extension after Iowa finished the 2009 season 11-2 and won the Orange Bowl. That contract extension includes a buyout that would force Iowa to pay Ferentz about $250,000 a month until January 2020.
For those who don't want to do the math, that comes out to about $21 million.
So don't consider this a vote of confidence as much as it's a "he's way too expensive to fire."