News, Notes & Quotes - Sept. 7

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday September 07, 2016


- Kirk Ferentz not only got a new 10-year contract with a raise, but his buyout will remain very, very high.

His salary increases from slightly more than $4 million to $4.5 million annually, and AD Gary Barta said the buyout provision is similar. If you’re unaware, Ferentz’s buyout in the previous deal was 75 percent of the remaining salary. It will remain that through 2020 and then drop to 50 percent, but if he wins seven games, it increases to 100 percent in that season each time, per HawkeyeNation.

Ferentz is 61 years old. A decade ago, NFL teams were interested in him. Why guarantee Ferentz so much money now? He won 12 games last year, but only reached double digits one other time since 2004.

“In giving a 10-year contract, what I’m saying is I don’t intend to change coaches,” Barta said. “I intend for Kirk, at some point, when the time is right, to retire here. The idea to give someone a long-term contract is to say where in. We’re in all the way.”

If Ferentz stays at Iowa through 2026, he would be the fourth-longest-tenured coach in FBS history (28 years). It would also mean Iowa went 48 years with two coaches.

- Dabo Swinney gave the usual coachspeak about not overlooking an opponent like Troy, but he actually has an experience to back him up for this one.

"I’m telling you, this team right here is going to be a handful,” he said. “I remember very vividly in 2011, jogging off the field at halftime against this team down 16-13, and everybody was booing, including my wife. And my mom and my mother-in-law. It was not a pretty sight. We need to get excited about getting in the Valley.”

Clemson ended up winning that game 43-19. Dabo also noted that Clemson's last five games have been away from home.

- Will Muschamp has changed plans with media, no longer making the coordinators available weekly.

They won’t be available at all during the season. Muschamp taking a page from the Saban playbook? Kirby Smart is doing the same at Georgia.

- Asked about defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, Brian Kelly said defensive issues against Texas aren’t the problem.

“It's great conversation for everybody to have, but it's so short-sighted of what really happened in the Texas game,” Kelly said. “What really happened in the Texas game was you had the offense that had a chance to win the game. You're going to have to play some games where you outscore people. … So I just think we're jumping the gun. If we're 10 games into this and we're giving up 50 points a game, I'll have to answer your questions. As I said yesterday, I think you all should relax a little bit. I think our defense is going to be fine.”

- Barry Odom has been reflective and very self-critical after his first game as a head coach, a 26-11 defeat at West Virginia.

Odom admitted even his son asked why he pulled QB Drew Lock in the second quarter in the middle of a drive. Odom also said his halftime speech was “absolutely horrible.”

“I’m disappointed in myself more than anything,” he said, “that I didn’t get our guys ready to go play. … I tried to look at things I thought I did OK and things I didn’t do well enough. There’s a long list of things I need to improve on.

“The ability to make in-game adjustments with both sides of the ball, I was a little too quiet at times (while) dealing a lot with special teams.”

The Tigers host Eastern Michigan this weekend.

- James Franklin learned about muting on Twitter this offseason, and it sounds like Pitt fans were part of that.

“I get a bunch of comments from their fans, which has been great. I learned something really powerful this offseason, muting,” Franklin said. “We've had some blocking conversations as a group. I've learned there is this other thing called mute which does the same exact thing but you don't know I've done it, which is better, which is even better.

“But, yeah, I get stuff from our fans about how excited they are about the game. I get stuff from their fans about how they feel about me and how they feel about us. But to be honest with you, I'd say most of the stuff I get is more about the excitement and the respect for both institutions and the state and the community and how awesome this is.”

- Matt Rhule says he has to bring more energy himself, and the absence of some veteran players from a year ago was evident in the season-opening loss to Army.

“I don’t know if it’ll translate on Saturday, but I said, ‘You know what? I’ve gotta get back to being me,’” Rhule said. “I’ve gotta go have fun, run around, run the scout team and dap guys up.”

“I have to change. I have to realize this is a different team. I didn’t have to do that last year because Tyler (Matakevich) and them were doing it. They were standing on the sidelines yelling at me. I think I’ve told you that I have to get used to this being a quiet team. Well, I’m not getting used to it anymore. I’m gonna go be the juice. (Defensive backs coach) Fran Brown’s gonna go be the juice. (Associate AD) Sean Padden’s gonna go be the juice. We’re gonna be out there and we’re gonna be the juice and we’re gonna bring energy.”

- Jameis Winston gave his own halftime speech in Florida State’s record comeback against Ole Miss. Take a listen:

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.