Kirk Ferentz entertained by team's No. 5 ranking
The college football world had a variety of opinions when the College Football Playoff Selection Committee slotted Iowa at No. 5 on Tuesday.
It became a hot-button issue not just within the B1G, but across the country.
Some approved of the fact that the unbeaten Hawkeyes finally got some national respect. Others were not as convinced that Iowa deserved such a high ranking. Everyone seemed to have a strong reaction one way or the other.
But how did Kirk Ferentz react?
“I was kinda entertained, actually,” the Iowa coach said on ESPN’s Russillo and Kanell. “Last week, I think we were labeled as boring or maybe not exciting enough. I don’t think anybody said we were boring. Then this week, the descriptive term I heard was ‘consistent.'”
Iowa has been consistent. The third-highest ranked unbeaten, the Hawkeyes are the only unbeaten team in the country with road wins over two ranked teams.
Surprising is the fact that coming into last week’s rankings, there was debate as to whether or not an undefeated Iowa team could even make the top four. With the way the committee bumped the Hawkeyes up from No. 9 to No. 5, that debate was seemingly put to rest.
Ferentz acknowledged that development.
“If we were to win out, chances are, we’re going to be in there,” he said. “We’re in a major conference and that would mean we went undefeated and won our championship. I think any team in a Power Five conference that does that is probably going to be in the playoffs.
“But that being said, if we lose one game anywhere in the next three or in the championship, we’re not going to be there. It’s academic. It really gets down to what you do on the field.”
Iowa is still in favorable position to run the table in the B1G. With a 1/2-game lead on Wisconsin — plus the tiebreaker — the Hawkeyes end the regular season against B1G West teams with a combined 4-12 conference record.
That’s been the argument against Iowa. Due to its weak slate down the stretch, Ferentz’s group, which already surprised most by reaching nine wins, won’t have to truly flex its muscles until a potential conference championship. That would finally provide a metric for the skeptics that ignored the Hawkeyes when they took care of Northwestern and Wisconsin.
Everyone wants to know how good Iowa really is. Even Ferentz.
“We don’t have the smartest coach in the room, we certainly don’t have the fastest guys or the big guys or what have you,” Ferentz said. “I don’t know how much ‘wow factor’ we have as a football team. I’ve said for the last month or so that I don’t know how good we are and I’m not a good guy to judge that.
“…I don’t know how good we are. We’ll know more here in about three weeks.”