There are nothing like lists to get our blood percolating. Actually, that's not at all true. Seeing the flashing lights of a police car as you look at your rear-view window comes to mind. Not that I would know first-hand.
Anyway, a fire got stoked in Iowa Monday by this list put out by Stewart Mandel of SportsIllustrated.com. In it, he lists the 10 best college football coaches and the five worst.
Like Pavlov's dog, I'm responding to it. Because it's early July. Because it's easy. And because it has a local tie. Iowa's Kirk Ferentz is named among the five worst.
So of the 125 FBS head coaches, Ferentz is in the bottom 4 percent. A coach with two Big Ten titles, and four finishes in the AP Top Ten.
This is the same coach Mandel ranked as the third-best in the nation going into the 2005 season. And, again in 2006.
Mandel's rationale this year:
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa. The 2009 Orange Bowl proved an aberration in Ferentz's otherwise unimpressive recent tenure. Take away that one 11-2 season and the Hawkeyes are 47-41 since 2005 under their $3.6 million-per-year coach.
The other four worst coaches (in no particular order) were Charlie Weis of Kansas, Lane Kiffin of USC, Tim Beckman of Illinois, and Ron English of Eastern Michigan.
I'm not embarking in a slam-Mandel deal. He says in his 2013 list thatáthese names don't represent coaches bodies of work, but "the best and worst coaches right now."
And the last three years of Iowa football haven't exactly exceeded expectations. The Hawkeyes start this season, in fact, with a 6-game losing streak.
But still ... Kevin Wilson has a 5-19 record at Indiana. It's widely believed the Hoosiers have better days ahead with Wilson, but if you're talking right now, it's 5-19. Wisconsin's Gary Andersen and Purdue's Darrell Hazell are in the Big Ten now because they had big seasons last year ... at Utah State and Kent State.
Randy Edsall is 6-18 in two years at Maryland. The year before he got there, the Terrapins were 9-4.
Two of Mike London's three Virginia teams went 4-8.
At the risk of being called a homer, I'll defiantly suggest Ferentz isn't one of the five worst coaches in FBS. Or the Big Ten, for that matter. But this is a what-have-you-done-lately world, and he knows it as much as we do.
This tweet came over around 2:15 p.m., CT, Monday:
Kirk Ferentz's inclusion on today's worst coaches list drawing by far the most backlash. Iowa fans apparently OK w/ $3.6M/yr to go 4-8.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) July 8, 2013