Iowa State coach Kirk Ferentz doesn't sound too optimistic about the future of college football.
There have been a lot of complaints about the direction college football is currently on. While the transfer portal is good in theory, it has created a 'rent a player' system backed by massive nothing groups that buy players before they even play at any given moment.
The sport is unrecognizable from what it was just 10 years ago. It's not all bad, but many feel that something must be done.
Nick Saban sounded the alarm that inaction could lead to a “lightning bolt” that destroys the sport. Kirk Ferentz now seems very concerned about what is on the horizon.
“I'm sorry to say that two years on, we're in a worse position than we were two years ago. I didn't think it was possible. We, the big guys, have done a lot to screw this up. We've had a great game, so I – the old man in the room – have some concerns.” about what the future will look like. I think most people realize that we have some real problems right now. I'm not sure what we can come to an agreement on and what the possible remedies are. You see a lot of things that only concern you, and again, there's a lot of Moving parts “I'm not going to pretend I have all the answers,” Ferentz said when analyzing the state of college football before its loss to Tennessee in the Citrus Bowl, according to On3.
Ferentz also contacted players who have opted out of NFL Draft games or moved to the transfer portal.
“It's just a different world,” the Iowa coach added. Even 20 years ago, there were some players who might have opted out of the NFL, but not to the extent now. There are a lot of stakeholders now, and it's not always the right voice that the players here and some of the stakeholders aren't necessarily thinking about what's best for individual young people. It just kind of flies in the face of what we're trying to do as coaches, I think, and that's part of it.
Does Ferentz have a point?
For comparison, here's what Nick Saban said in December:
I think it will continue in the same direction until something happens. I call it the lightning bolt, where maybe people start giving up on sports because the financial part of it can't make sense in terms of what you can reinvest in sports that don't generate income. Or some players don't get what they were promised and there's a lot of lawsuits and stuff, you know. There's going to be a bit of a lightning bolt because this isn't the system we have now that has any guardrails, and in most competitive places there's someone who controls what you can and can't do…Right now, it's a game of whoever is willing to invest the most has the best chance. To get the best team.
It's not word for word like what Kirk Ferentz said, but it certainly shares the same spirit. To his credit, Ferentz did not blame the players.
This is America, and capitalism is the system that rules today. His problem does not appear with players' ability to make money.
Kirk Ferentz seems upset that the people in charge allowed the Wild West situation to unfold without any oversight or attempt to dial it back. It's difficult to put toothpaste back in the tube, and some coaches certainly feel that's the point the sport has reached now.
Is college football out of control? Do Ferentz and Saban have some great points? Let me know at David.Hookstead@outkick.com.