Kirk On the Side

"Our plans are to be at Iowa again, and again, and again. Our plans are to be at Iowa. I'm not planning on going anywhere. What else can I say? I anticipate being contacted (by NFL teams). I know that's going to happen. And, I just say, 'No, I'm happy where I'm at.' We've got some things to do." --Kirk Ferentz on the constant rumors and speculation from national media talking heads linking him to NFL jobs. The coach talks a lot about that topic in this edition of 'Kirk on the Side'

Do you do anything to combat the ‘Kirk Ferentz to the latest NFL team"=' rumors?

Same old, same old. The same old things we've been saying. Thanks to ESPN. I saw my picture on the tube last Thursday morning. It was Atlanta. I think I was in a Philadelphia hotel room. That got a rise out of one of our recruit's brothers. It's not going to go away, I don't think.

What do you think about it?

How do those other guys get off of the hook? How is Pete Carroll getting off of the hook? That's what I want to know. Or, is he?

Reporter 1: I don't know. He might not be?

Reporter 2: His agent is quieter. I'm just kidding.(lots of laughter, but Ferentz was not laughing)

Q: When you see that, do you get a tightness in your stomach?

No. I'm oblivious to it, quite frankly. All we can do is to keep being proactive with our recruits. I made mention of it to our players, at one point, very briefly. I told our staff a week ago Friday "It ain't happening, so..."

It ain't happening. You're not leaving. Is that what that means?

That's the plan. Yeah.

Reporter 1: You still leave that door open.

Reporter 3: Have you ruled it out?

Our plans are to be at Iowa again, and again, and again. Our plans are to be at Iowa.

How much did you hear about it while you were out on the recruiting trail?

Other than the one phone call we got...I mean, we bring it up because it doesn't have to be on TV. Recruiters are using it. Other than the distance, that's about what they shoot at us with. We're bringing it up.

Are the recruiters using it more this year?

Oh yeah. It's worked its way into some conversations, certainly.

Do you feel like you've lost anybody because of it?

No. Not at all. And the reality of it is, all of those things take place in January. Even if a guy committed, he could still make the switch afterwards. But, it's not going to happen. It's not going to happen.

Reporter 1: There you go again.

It's not going to happen. I don't see it happening.

Reporter 1: There you go.

(Ferentz laughs)

Have you ever gotten a call from one of those guys at ESPN?

No. You should know better than anybody that journalists don't call. Tell me if I'm right on this one. I heard last night that I turned down the Nebraska job. Seriously, that was on TV. This was a national (outlet). I didn't talk to them. And they didn't talk to me, more importantly.

Do you ever get the urge to pick up the phone and call Chris Mortenson?

No. That's his job. I realize it's his job. That's what they do. They're getting paid to speculate.

Why don't coaches ever just say "no"?

I'm not planning on going anywhere. What else can I say?

I'm just saying, why do coaches always leave that door open?

Never say never and never way always, right? I can say this: I anticipate being contacted. I know that's going to happen. And, I just say, "No, I'm happy where I'm at." We've got some things to do.

Do you play the positive aspect up to the recruits?

Yeah. They're throwing out other names that are very prominent. So, if they're not throwing it out, it probably means that we're losing or it means that people are getting tired of seeing it. Maybe in a couple of years, they won't be saying it. Right now, it's out there.

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Does the lack of a January bowl victory leave a hole in this building?

I don't know. I looked at Florida's bowl record, for example, I think they're 12-14. That caught my eye a little bit. I think what it tells you is when you play in a bowl game you're going to play a good team. When you play in January bowls, you're playing real good teams. It kind of comes with the territory. Certainly, we would like to get back on a winning streak. It's been a while. I've never been involved with a January win. It would be a lot of fun.

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What are your thoughts on the whole BCS mess?

I don't know what the solution is other than let the top four teams play and then play one more game. I still have a hard time envisioning our teams (in a playoff system). It would be murderous on everybody. And again, at the end of the day, I'm still not sure (its bad) that when you have a co-champion in the conference or co-national champs, if in fact that's how it pans out. Obviously one team is going to win the Sugar Bowl. USC still has a big game in front of them. That whole thing might get resolved before it's all said and done, just like nobody ended up undefeated. Everybody was worried about that for a while. If the worst thing is that both teams are claiming to be champions, that's not a bad thing.

You don't vote, do you?

No, I don't. The poll has some credibility. I don't. (laughter)

Do most coaches want another game, a championship game?

I have no feel for that. I wouldn't object. The only negative that I would see on that one is now you're cutting into winter break. In our case, our guys have a long winter break. So, maybe it's not a big thing. A lot of schools go back to school right after the holidays. Maybe they'd object. Maybe that's a downside to that. I don't know. I doubt there would be much protest. You're only talking about two football teams out of 100 and how ever many there are in (Division) IA.


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