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Wine Online: A Duel of Friends in the Desert
Ferentz and Stoops have mutual respect, admiration for one another
Kirk Ferentz will square off against a friend on Dec. 30 when the Hawkeyes play Oklahoma in the 2011 Insight Bowl.
Kirk Ferentz will square off against a friend on Dec. 30 when the Hawkeyes play Oklahoma in the 2011 Insight Bowl.
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Dec. 5, 2011

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Two years ago I had occasion to visit with Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops and suggested his Sooners and the Hawkeyes get together for a couple of football games. He said he would not be comfortable playing his alma mater and good friend Kirk Ferentz, and made it clear that wasn't likely to happen.

2011 Insight



Well, it's going to happen, thanks to the Insight Bowl selecting Iowa and Oklahoma for its game that will be played Dec. 30 in Tempe, Ariz. This is a match that has an interesting story line.

Thirty years ago Kirk Ferentz joined the Iowa coaching staff as a 25-year-old offensive line coach. Bob Stoops was a junior who played strong safety on one of the best defenses Iowa ever had. It was so good the Hawkeyes shocked the football world by unexpectedly winning a share of the 1981 Big Ten title and a Rose Bowl berth.

Hayden Fry, in his third season as Iowa's head coach -- and with Ferentz and Stoops playing key roles -- had shaken off two decades of dreary football and made the Hawkeyes Big Ten contenders, not pretenders. In short, it was the season that changed everything in Iowa football.





On the night of Dec. 30 in Arizona's cool desert air, 30 years after they were part of a football turnaround at Iowa, Kirk Ferentz and Bob Stoops will be together on the same field again. But this time they'll be on opposite sidelines and Stoops will not be wearing an Iowa sweatshirt.


Ferentz remained on the Iowa coaching staff for nine seasons before becoming the head coach at Maine, then moving to the NFL. Stoops played one more season, helping the new-look Hawkeyes beat Tennessee in the l982 Peach Bowl, then stayed at Iowa as a graduate assistant and volunteer coach. He later was the defensive coordinator at Kansas State and Florida before becoming Oklahoma's head coach in 1999.

Coincidently, that's the same year Ferentz succeeded Fry as Iowa's head coach and he is now wrapping up his 13th season. KIrk and Hayden are the only football coaches Iowa has had in the last 33 years.

Stoops was the MVP and co-captain of Iowa's 1982 team. He was an all-Big Ten player with the reputation as a fearless hard-nosed defender and a bit of an over-achiever. A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Bob helped recruit his two younger brothers, Mike and Mark, to Iowa. Both were also defensive backs, and Mike was all-Big Ten in 1984.

A year ago when the Hawkeyes beat Missouri at the Insight Bowl, Kirk Ferentz was not surprised to see Bob Stoops, whose Sooners were in town to play in the Fiesta Bowl, on the sideline wearing an Iowa sweatshirt. "Bob's still a Hawkeye," says Kirk. "That's one of the neat things about this program."

Ironically, there are three more Hawkeyes on the Oklahoma coaching staff than on Iowa's. Jay Norvell, the co-defensive coordinator, was a defensive back on Iowa's 1985 Big Ten championship team. Bruce Kittle, who coaches tight ends and tackles, was an offensive lineman on Iowa's l981 Big Ten title team.

On the night of Dec. 30 in Arizona's cool desert air, 30 years after they were part of a football turnaround at Iowa, Kirk Ferentz and Bob Stoops will be together on the same field again. But this time they'll be on opposite sidelines and Stoops will not be wearing an Iowa sweatshirt.

IOWA'S BOWL RECORD THE LAST
10 YEARS IS BIG TEN'S BEST

The Hawkeyes made their first bowl appearance under Coach Kirk Ferentz in 2001. Since then, no Big Ten team has won more bowl games or has won a higher percentage of bowl games than Iowa. Here's the bowl record of each Big Ten team in the past 10 years, listed in order of winning percentage:

Iowa - Nine appearances, 6-3 record (.667)

Penn State - Seven appearances, 4-3 record (.571)

Ohio State - Nine appearances, 5-4 record (.555)

Nebraska - Eight appearances, 4-4 record (.500)

Wisconsin, Nine appearances, 4-5 record (.444)

Minnesota - Seven appearances, 3-4 record (.429)

Purdue - Six appearances, 2-4 record (.333)

Illinois - Three appearances, 1-2 record (.333)

Michigan - Eight appearances, 2-6 record (.250)

Michigan State - Six appearances, 1-5 record (.167)

Northwestern - Five appearances, 0-5 record (.000)

Indiana - One appearance, 0-1 record (.000)

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