Ferentz talks expectations at Big Ten media day

Iowa Hawkeyes look to build on 12-0 regular season
Ferentz talks expectations at Big Ten media day
Posted at 1:15 PM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-26 14:15:08-04

It's getting to be a mildly tired storyline at this point.

Yes, under Kirk Ferentz, the Iowa Hawkeyes haven't always performed well when there have been "expectations" for success placed on the team.

The perfect example would be the 2010 season when, following an Orange Bowl win in 2009, Iowa was expected to contend for a Big Ten title, and instead went a very uninspiring 7-5. 

2005 provides another classic example. Iowa was the Big Ten co-champion in 2004, won a thrilling Capital One Bowl game against LSU, and finished the year ranked #8 in both polls. The 2005 Hawkeyes managed just 7 wins, and lost in the Outback Bowl to Florida. 

2016 is yet another opportunity for Iowa to flip the script. Expectations are once again high in Iowa City, following at 12-0 regular season in 2015, and despite a blowout loss to Stanford in the Rose Bowl. 

While many are quick to point out Iowa has often come up short in these types of seasons, Tuesday at Big Ten meida days in Chicago, Ferentz noted it hasn't always been the case. 

"I think if you look back, there are years where we've handled that well. Like '09 and maybe 2003 and 2004. And then in those two seasons you alluded to, that really gets down to just winning close games, doing little things right, those types of things," Ferentz told the assembled media. 

"And I think it's that way in college football in general. Certainly it's been that way at the University of Iowa for a long time. Little things do matter. They are big things. And our ability to handle little details and do little things well on a consistent basis typically is a measure of our success."

In reality, Ferentz is right. Especially with the way Iowa plays, they're likely to be in close games throughout the year. There's not a lot of margin for error. 

"...last year is a really good illustration of that," said Ferentz. "I think if you look at it all but one game, there weren't many games where we were in the last four minutes where anybody on our sideline felt very comfortable. All those games went down to the wire. They're extremely competitive and again that's just I think the nature of college football. It certainly is for us at Iowa." 

If you rewind to that 2010 season, Iowa lost all five of their games by a combined 18 points. A play here or there, and maybe the "expectations" storyline isn't even being discussed. 

So, can Iowa recapture the magic from 2015 and put together an undefeated season? 

"First time I've been involved with an undefeated season during my time in college football," said Ferentz. "And we've had good college football teams historically. But just right there, just look nationally, it's very tough to go undefeated. A lot of things have to go your way. You have to have a good football team to start with and then you have to be fortunate injury-wise. Although really we didn't fit that category last year. You have to handle situations really well. It's tough to do."