Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz is happy to see the Big Ten on the verge of adding the Holiday Bowl and Pinstripe Bowl to its bowl rotation.
And after a 4-8 season, Ferentz says he follows the advice of former Iowa assistant Bill Brashier.
“Any bowl is a good bowl,” Ferentz said before the Iowa County I-Club event at the Colony Village Restaurant.
The Big Ten was talking about its bowl lineup for 2014 and beyond on Tuesday in Chicago. The Capital One and Outback Bowls are expected to remain.
The Big Ten also will continue tie-ins with the Gator Bowl, Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Heart of Dallas Bowl and Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. It may re-add the Music City Bowl.
The Holiday Bowl in San Diego and the Pinstripe Bowl in New York are “likely” new additions at this point.
“We went to the Holiday Bowl back-to-back in 1986, 1987, and just had a fantastic experience,” Ferentz said, harkening back to his days as an assistant coach under Hayden Fry. “They went out of the way to make it a great experience for the players.”
Ferentz has taken the Hawkeyes to 10 bowl games in his first 14 years as head coach (Alamo, 2001; Orange, 2003; Outback, 2004; Capital One, 2005; Outback, 2006; Alamo, 2006; Outback, 2009; Orange, 2010; Insight, 2010; Insight, 2011).
“Traditionally we have had a fantastic bowl alignment,” Ferentz said. “I imagine we’ll continue with that.”
The Big Ten is trying to avoid fan fatigue for certain locations by providing a lot of options across the country. Ferentz said that strategy makes sense.
FUTURE SCHEDULING: With a nine-game Big Ten slate coming and the Iowa State rivalry staying, Ferentz said the Hawkeyes will be somewhat limited in what other games they can schedule from year to year.
The Big Ten’s new policy keeps teams from scheduling FCS schools like Northern Iowa.
“It just limits what you can do, really,” Ferentz said. “I don’t envision us playing more than 10 BCS-type of teams in a year.
“We’ll look around and see what’s available and go from there.”
Ferentz said he liked to schedule games with an “eye towards recruiting.” That helped get Syracuse and Pittsburgh on the schedule in previous years, and Pittsburgh and North Texas in upcoming years.
“But I think right now, when we move to nine games (Big Ten) it eliminates all of our options,” Ferentz said. “Because the Iowa State series will continue.”
JAMES’ FUTURE: Former Hawkeye James Ferentz has had a busy spring, going to tryouts for the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears. Neither ended up signing the all-Big Ten center.
“He’s just going to have to sit and be patient,” Ferentz said. “Probably his biggest detriment right now is that he’s 6-foot-1. So its going to have to be the right place and time.”
Coach Ferentz thinks James still may land a job playing football.
“Whenever he gets his opportunity, I think he’s going to do a good job with it,” Ferentz said.