Just accept it, Iowa fans. It’s going to happen.

Kirk Ferentz is going to be in Iowa until he decides to hang it up. He’s going to get paid — again — and some are going to question if he’s worth as much as he’s making — again.

Iowa athletic director Gary Barta already said that he wants Ferentz to retire in Iowa. The extension is coming. That’s no secret. The Cedar Rapids Gazette’s Marc Morehouse tweeted that Ferentz’s agent, Neil Cornrich, was in Iowa City while Barta and Iowa president Brice Harreld were at the facility during the week.

Read between the lines on that one.

So barring some sort of unexpected stalemate, a new deal will get done soon. Ferentz will sign a contract that keeps him in Iowa City beyond 2020, which is when his current deal runs out.

Isn’t that something? A year ago, we were talking about a Bo Pelini-like buyout if Ferentz didn’t take Iowa to the next level in 2015. Now, after the storybook 2015 season, he could be looking at a deal that runs through 2025.

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That’s what Iowa does. More specifically, that’s what Barta does. It’s what he did before the start of the 2010 season because of the storybook Orange Bowl season. At some points during the 2010-14 stretch, which saw Ferentz go a mediocre 34-30 overall and 19-21 in the B1G, it felt like a post-2015 breakup was inevitable.

Remember when these headlines were everywhere at this time last year?

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Two years removed from when Barta called Ferentz “arguably the best coach in the country” and gave him a 10-year extension, Iowa went 4-8 in 2012.

You know who doesn’t go 4-8? The best coach in the country.

But Ferentz survived the lows and Barta survived the highs. The highs, that is, were when Ferentz was coming off a BCS bowl and his name was being linked to NFL openings. At 60 — he’ll be 61 in a couple weeks — that ship has sailed.

Ferentz isn’t going anywhere.


The question now becomes how big of a raise Ferentz will get and how long this next deal will be. We know that Ferentz hasn’t exactly taken a hometown discount before, and coming off arguably his best season to date, he probably won’t start that trend now.

In 2015, Ferentz was the fourth highest-paid coach in the B1G and No. 14 nationally at around $4 million per year. Cornrich will likely point to the fact that coaches like James Franklin, Kevin Sumlin and Charlie Strong — none of whom have had anywhere near the success of Ferentz — are getting paid between $4.4-5 million.

Cornrich will also probably point to the fact that Kevin Wilson and Jim Harbaugh are under contract through the 2021 season. Being the B1G coach with the most years left on a contract is big in the recruiting world. It’s one of the few ways to ensure stability in the ever-changing world of college football.

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Right now, Iowa is looking to capitalize off of 2015 so that it doesn’t become just another random double-digit win season. With the new facilities and new TV contract money, this is when the Hawkeyes need to take that next step forward.

The great programs don’t have floors of four-win seasons under the same coach. A big part of that is recruiting. Ferentz’s loaded 2017 class can become the new norm in Iowa City. It’s clear that an Iowa pipeline is forming in Texas at the perfect time — just look at the messes at Baylor and Texas — for Ferentz.

Barta knows that Ferentz has the ability to keep Iowa has a yearly B1G West contender. Will he overpay for Ferentz yet again? Probably. If Ferentz ends up with a deal that pays him $5 million per year through 2025, don’t be surprised.

This deal is going to get done, and some are going to be skeptical. This time — hopefully — Iowa fans shouldn’t have to look up Ferentz’s buyout after a seven-win season.