With the recent news (per ESPN) that Greg Davis, at least to the best of Kirk Ferentz's knowledge, will stay on as Iowa's offensive coordinator (OC), Hawkeye fans are scratching their heads.
The only other OC under Ferentz had been Ken O'Keefe. Under O'Keefe, the Iowa offense was rarely impressive. Usually, it was mediocre, with one or two notable seasons, as well as two or three poor seasons.
However, this year, as Jon Miller of Hawkeyenation pointed out, the Hawks "had arguably the worst offensive season of an offensively challenged Ferentz era."
Iowa ranked 114th in the nation in scoring offense, 117th in total offense, 98th in rushing (yards per carry), 116th in passing efficiency and tied for 115th in yards per passing attempt.
And that was with a returning starter at quarterback, a quality field goal kicker and a plus-12 turnover margin.
As for that returning starter, James Vandenberg had a respectable 2011, throwing 25 touchdowns to seven interceptions and finishing with 138.44 efficiency rating. In 2012, he fell apart—at least, as far as statistics are concerned—throwing seven touchdowns, eight picks and a 107.72 rating.
Even worse, those that watched the Hawkeye offense got a crash course in boring and uninspired play-calling.
Following a particularly bad call in the Nebraska game, ESPN's Adam Rittenberg tweeted,
That's a shameful call by Greg Davis on third-and-4. Just pathetic. #NEBvsIOWA— Rittenberg/Bennett (@ESPN_BigTen) November 23, 2012
In short, it can't get much worse for the Iowa offense.
The question is, if Davis is to come back, what went wrong and is this offense salvageable?