Lately, most Hawkeye fans are not happy with the job their head coach has done.
This is in marked contrast to the early part of Kirk Ferentz's tenure, during which the Iowa fanbase couldn't have been happier with their head man.
One then questions how Kirk Ferentz has done, year-by-year, given the situation he has had to work with. A top-notch in-game coach should overachieve, or at least meet expectations, with some consistency.
Contrarily, lesser in-game coaches underachieve or meet expectations only when they have top-notch personnel.
Firstly, I will note that this article does not take into consideration recruiting or player development. In my opinion, Iowa has been, without a doubt, the strongest program in the country at developing players.
Moreover, recruiting is inherent within how the team does. How many stars a player has next to his name before he gets on campus is irrelevant, and as regards recruiting, Iowa, in my opinion, has a ceiling.
Given the limitations of that ceiling, Ferentz and staff have done a good job in identifying players that fit what the program is trying to accomplish and getting them on campus.
Obviously, player development and recruiting are part of collegiate coaching, but in this case, I am only concerned with the level of talent any particular Hawkeye team had in any given year vs. the team's record.
Secondly, my feelings on the Hawks are subjective. Just because I feel that the 2005 team could have won more games than it did, does not mean that I am correct, though I will justify my opinion.
Thirdly, when I write of "expectations," I am not referring to what was expected of the team coming into the season. Rather, I am looking at the team through a historical lens.
Who was on the team, how experienced were they, who was injured, what did the schedule look like, how many games were winnable and with that in mind, how did the team do?
Finally, I didn't bother looking into 1999 and 2000, because, though Ferentz has to be held accountable for those years—years in which Iowa went a combined 4-19—those seasons can fairly be written off as transitional years.