CBS Ranks Ferentz and Campbell as Top 15 Coaches in the Nation
CBS Sports recently put out a list ranking every college football coach in the FBS (so no, UNI Coach Mark Farley didn't make the list, unfortunately) across the country, 1 to 65.
Both head coaches for Iowa and Iowa State made the list, and they're both in the top 15. The order may surprise you, though.
Coming in at number 13 is Kirk Ferentz, just ahead of Big 10 rival Wisconsin and their head man, Paul Chryst. Here's what Tom Fornelli of CBS had to say about Ferentz and moving him from No. 17 in 2021 to No. 13 this year:
Ferentz climbs four spots after going 10-4 last year and winning the Big Ten West. It was the second time the Hawkeyes won 10 games in the last three seasons after doing so only once (2015) from 2010-18. Ferentz has been at Iowa since 1999, and you know what you're going to get. The Hawkeyes are going to be solid defensively and frustrate their fans on offense while winning anywhere between seven and 10 games.
And then, oddly enough, Matt Campbell is at No. 12. I'll elaborate on the confusing rankings once we let Tom get his two cents in on Campbell's ranking, and the fall from No. 9 in 2021 to No. 12 in 2022:
Campbell was already ranked ahead of Ferentz, but he's only one spot ahead after falling three spots this season. There's no need to thank us, sports radio hosts of Iowa. Campbell is starting to deal with the repercussions of expectations. After going 9-3 in 2020 and reaching the Big 12 Championship Game, people expected more from a Cyclones team returning most of its production than a 7-6 season and 5-4 mark in conference. I still think Campbell's one of the best in the business, but I don't know how much room for improvement there is for him at Iowa State. Ironically, he might be entering the same kind of spot occupied by Ferentz where he won't win enough to crack the top 10 permanently, but he'll garner too much respect to slip much further than this.
Here's the confusing thing about this: Campbell hasn't beaten Iowa since he earned the head coaching position for the Cyclones in 2016. Not once.
Though the former head coach at Toledo boasts a 42-34 overall record and 31-23 record in the Big 12 Conference, he's 0-5 against the Hawkeyes. Three of the five losses are by 10+ points, too.
Iowa now leads the Cy-Hawk series 46-22.
Even if we go bigger picture, Ferentz takes the cake. In 23 years at Iowa, he's posted a record of 178-110, making his winning percentage 61.8% versus Campbell's 55% at ISU.
Ferentz has won three of four bowl games in the last five years to Campbell's two of five.
And no, there's not a "Well, Matt had to recover a program that was terrible" argument.
In Ferentz's first two seasons, the Hawks won four games while losing 19. Since then, Iowa has posted just two more losing seasons. In 2006, Iowa went 6-7 and in 2012 they posted a record of 4-8. So, in 19 of his 23 years, Captain Kirk has led his team to winning football games.
Campbell is the up-and-coming, hot name that NFL teams like the Detroit Lions and New York Jets have sought out to be their guy. Big-time programs like USC, LSU, and Notre Dame across the country, have done their best to pull him from the grip of Ames.
He might be new and exciting, but this isn't a debate. Kirk Ferentz is the best coach in the state of Iowa.
I'll discuss this more on this weekend's episode of Cornstalks and Sports Talk on AM950 KOEL. The show is live on Saturdays from 9-10 AM on the station and website, and can also be listened to on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. We also post segments on YouTube.