Ferentz discusses the return of football season

Iowa football head coach Kirk Ferentz spoke Wednesday about the different possibilities of when the 2020 football season could start.


Megan Nagorzanski

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz walks to a huddle during a game against Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday, November 9, 2019. The Hawkeyes were defeated by the Badgers 24-22. Iowa will stay at 3rd place in the Big Ten west.

Pete Ruden, Pregame Editor

Iowa football head coach Kirk Ferentz hasn’t been without spring football since 1979. But that’s where he finds himself now with the 2020 football season in question.

Instead, Ferentz has been caught up in Zoom meetings, phone calls with recruits, and yard work as he tries to pass the time until the season comes around.

“It’s kind of like vacation,” Ferentz said. “It’s kind of like the month of July, except you’re not allowed to go anywhere or do anything, so it’s not quite the same. The other obvious thing, which all of us are dealing with, is just the uncertainty.”

It’s the same uncertainty that allowed Ferentz to dish on some possibilities of when the 2020 football season will start in a Zoom meeting on Wednesday.

There’s no doubt that Ferentz and the rest of the country would like for the season to start on time. With the uncertainty, there have been talks about moving the season to 2021 where it would begin in February.

Having two seasons in one calendar year, however, may not be an easy thing to accomplish. The NCAA would need to decide if it’s possible to play all 12 games while taking the student-athletes’ bodies into account.

“I think we’d have to be very careful there,” Ferentz said. “I don’t know the answer — can you play 24 games in a calendar year? My guess is you probably could. But let’s say if you did that, let’s say that’s the scenario that’s in front of you, it would dramatically alter what happens between the two periods. I don’t know how hard you could train. I don’t know how hard you could practice.

“That’s probably the most radical that would be out there, but it’s for sure a possibility I would imagine.”

Ferentz also brought up the possibility of kicking off the season a month later, taking the regular season into the end of December.

That scenario would alter college football’s bowl season, but it would allow each team to play a full season. Ferentz said he thinks that’s ideal.

“I think the most optimal situation would be playing the season in its entirety this year, whether it starts normal time — that would obviously be the most desired preference,” Ferentz said. “Whether they have to push it back a month and then play 12 straight [and] go right into Christmas, that might be a possibility. I think anything they could do to play this fall would be most advantageous.”

Still, uncertainty remains throughout the whole process. And before a decision can be made for sure, there will be more uncertainty.

“You’re going to have to figure out how are we going to make all this work moving forward from that point, so it’s a really complex equation,” Ferentz said. “I think before you start burning too many brain cells on that, let’s just kind of let things play out a little bit longer here and see where it all goes.”