Kirk Ferentz: All 100 Big Ten Wins

By RossWB on November 23, 2020 at 2:00 pm
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© Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
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Here are all 100 Big Ten wins Kirk Ferentz has notched at Iowa, with a few assorted thoughts.  

1. October 7, 2000: Iowa 21, Michigan State 16
2. November 4, 2000: Iowa 26, Penn State 23 (2OT)
3. November 11, 2000: Iowa 27, #11 Northwestern 17 

Ferentz lost his first nine Big Ten games at Iowa -- all eight in 1999 and his season-opener in 2000. Big Ten win #1 came at home against Michigan State on October 7, 2000. His first win over a ranked opponent came just over a month later, against #11 Northwestern. His first Big Ten road victory came the week prior, a double-overtime thriller over Penn State in Happy Valley.  

4. September 29, 2001: Iowa 24, Penn State 18
5. October 20, 2001: Iowa 42, Indiana 28
6. November 10, 2001: Iowa 59, Northwestern 16
7. November 17, 2001: Iowa 42, Minnesota 24

8. September 28, 2002: Iowa 42, #12 Penn State 35 (OT)
9. October 5, 2002: #24 Iowa 31, Purdue 28
10. October 12, 2002: #17 Iowa 44, Michigan State 16
11. October 19, 2002: #15 Iowa 24, Indiana 8
12. October 26, 2002: #13 Iowa 34, #8 Michigan 9
13. November 2, 2002: #9 Iowa 20, Wisconsin 3
14. November 9, 2002: #6 Iowa 62, Northwestern 10
15. November 16, 2002: #6 Iowa 45, Minnesota 21

Iowa's first Big Ten game as a ranked team under Ferentz came on October 5, 2002, against Purdue; Iowa entered the polls at #24 after upsetting Penn State in overtime the week prior. Big Ten win #10 for Ferentz came in a 44-16 drubbing of Michigan State a week after that. Ferentz's first win over a Top 10 opponent came two weeks after that, with the momentous 34-9 beatdown of Michigan in the Big House. That set up Iowa's first appearance in the Top 10 under Ferentz. 

2002 also produced Iowa's first-ever 8-0 record in the Big Ten and their first unbeaten conference record since 1922 (7-0). 

16. October 4, 2003: #23 Iowa 30, #4 Michigan 27
17. October 25, 2003: #16 Iowa 26, Penn State 14
18. November 1, 2003: #13 Iowa 41, Illinois 10
19. November 15, 2003: #20 Iowa 40, #19 Minnesota 22
20. November 22, 2003: #17 Iowa 27, Wisconsin 21

Iowa's first Big Ten win in 2003 featured one of the greatest crowd atmospheres I've ever experienced at an Iowa game (it was also one of the loudest games I've ever attended); it was also Iowa's first win over a Top 5 opponent under Ferentz. And Iowa finally got back to .500 in league play under Ferentz with the season-ending win over Wisconsin in 2003. That was also Big Ten win #20 for Ferentz at Iowa. 

21. October 2, 2004: Iowa 38, Michigan State 16
22. October 16, 2004: Iowa 33, #25 Ohio State 7
23. October 23, 2004: #25 Iowa 6, Penn State 4
24. October 30, 2004: #23 Iowa 23, Illinois 13
25. November 6, 2004: #20 Iowa 23, Purdue 21
26. November 13, 2004: #19 Iowa 29, Minnesota 27
27. November 20, 2004: #17 Iowa 30, #9 Wisconsin 7

Ferentz's win over Ohio State was not just his first-ever win over Ohio State at Iowa (which allowed him to complete his set of victories over all Big Ten teams), it also put his Big Ten record at 22-21 -- over .500 for the first time since his tenure began. Things had come a long way since that ignominious 0-8 start in 1999. It's never been under .500 since that point, either. His 25th Big Ten win at Iowa was a 23-21 thriller over Purdue that season. Big Ten win #27 was extra-sweet: thumping Wisconsin 30-7 allowed Iowa to claim a share of the Big Ten championship, which Iowa fans got to celebrate on the Kinnick Stadium field. 

28. October 1, 2005: Iowa 35, Illinois 7
29. October 8, 2005: Iowa 34, Purdue 17
30. October 15, 2005: Iowa 38, Indiana 21
31. November 12, 2005: Iowa 20, #19 Wisconsin 10
32. November 19, 2005: Iowa 52, Minnesota 28

Big Ten win #30 for Ferentz came in an otherwise ho-hum 38-21 win for Iowa over Indiana. 

33. September 23, 2006: #14 Iowa 24, Illinois 7
34. October 7, 2006: #19 Iowa 47, Purdue 17

35. October 13, 2007: Iowa 10, #18 Illinois 6
36. October 27, 2007: Iowa 34, Michigan State 27 (2OT)
37. November 3, 2007: Iowa 28, Northwestern 17
38, November 10, 2007: Iowa 21, Minnesota 16

39. October 11, 2008: Iowa 45, Indiana 9
40. October 18, 2008: Iowa 38, Wisconsin 16
41. November 8, 2008: Iowa 24, #3 Penn State 23
42. November 15, 2008: Iowa 22, Purdue 17
43. November 22, 2008: Iowa 55, Minnesota 0

Big Ten win #40 came against Wisconsin in 2008, but the biggest win of the year by far was #41: Iowa's thrilling 24-23 upset of #3 Penn State. That was Iowa's first win over a Top 5 opponent during Ferentz's tenure at Iowa and it was an absolutely seismic win for Ferentz and for the Iowa program. The glow of Ferentz's run from 2002-04 had worn off by that point, replaced by a disappointing 2005 campaign, an implosion in 2006, and a 2007 season that was racked by uninspired play on the field and scandal off the field.

Entering 2008, Ferentz's standing in Iowa City was as tenuous as it had been since his rocky start in 1999 and 2000. Iowa clearly had its best team since 2002-04, but they were just 5-4 entering that Penn State game thanks to a handful of error-filled losses. That win washed away a lot of the negative energy around the program and jumpstarted a 13-game winning streak overall (including eight straight Big Ten wins), the program's longest under Kirk Ferentz and the longest overall in several decades. There's absolutely no way Kirk Ferentz joins the 100 Big Ten Wins Club without that 2008 Penn State victory. 

44. September 26, 2009: Iowa 21, #5 Penn State 10
45. October 10, 2009: #12 Iowa 30, Michigan 28
46. October 17, 2009: #11 Iowa 20, Wisconsin 10
47. October 24, 2009: #6 Iowa 15, Michigan State 13
48. October 31, 2009: #4 Iowa 42, Indiana 24
49. November 21, 2009: #13 Iowa 12, Minnesota 0

The 2009 season built off the program's rampaging conclusion to the 2008 season (and a heaping amount of good fortune) to leap out to a program-best (until 2015) 9-0 start. That run saw Iowa enter the Top 5 in the regular season for the first time under Ferentz. 

50. October 2, 2010: #17 Iowa 24, #22 Penn State 3
51. October 16, 2010: #15 Iowa 38, Michigan 28
52. October 30, 2010: #18 Iowa 37, #5 Michigan State 6
53. November 6, 2010: #15 Iowa 18, Indiana 13

Several of Ferentz's milestone Big Ten wins have involved Penn State -- the first road win came over Penn State in 2000, win #50 came against them in 2010, and obviously win #100 came against them just a few days ago. And while the 2008 win wasn't any sort of numerical milestone, it proved to be a game-changer for Ferentz's Iowa tenure. 

54. October 15, 2011: Iowa 41, Northwestern 31
55. October 22, 2011: Iowa 45, Indiana 24
56. November 5, 2011: Iowa 24, #13 Michigan 16
57. November 19, 2011: Iowa 31, Purdue 21

58. September 29, 2012: Iowa 31, Minnesota 13
59. October 13, 2012: Iowa 19, Michigan State (2OT)

60. September 28, 2013: Iowa 23, Minnesota 7
61. October 26, 2013: Iowa 17, Northwestern 10 (OT)
62. November 9, 2013: Iowa 38, Purdue 14
63. November 23, 2013: Iowa 24, Michigan 21
64. November 29, 2013: Iowa 38, Nebraska 17

Big Ten win #60 came in Iowa's league-opening game against Minnesota in 2013. Iowa's first-ever Big Ten win over Nebraska came two months later, in a 38-17 drubbing in Lincoln. 

65. September 27, 2014: Iowa 24, Purdue 10
66. October 11, 2014: Iowa 45, Indiana 29
67. November 1, 2014: Iowa 48, Northwestern 7
68. November 15, 2014: Iowa 30, Illinois 14

69. October 3, 2015: Iowa 10, #19 Wisconsin 6
70. October 10, 2015: #22 Iowa 29, Illinois 20
71. October 17, 2015: #17 Iowa 40, #22 Northwestern 10
72. October 31, 2015: #10 Iowa 31, Maryland 15
73. November 7, 2015: #10 Iowa 35, Indiana 27
74. November 14, 2015: #8 Iowa 40, Minnesota 35
75. November 21, 2015: #6 Iowa 40, Purdue 20
76. November 27, 2015: #3 Iowa 28, Nebraska 20

Is it fitting that win #nice was Iowa's 10-6 defensive rock fight against Wisconsin to start Big Ten play in 2015? I think so. Win #70 came a week later as Jordan Canzeri's legs carried Iowa to a win over Illinois. Win #75 came six weeks later as Iowa thumped Purdue to get to 11-0 on the season. But Big Ten win #76 was the real milestone, as that 28-20 win over Nebraska capped off the program's first-ever 12-0 regular season. That season didn't have a storybook ending, but from September through November, it was an incredible ride. 

77. September 24, 2016: Iowa 14, Rutgers 7
78. October 8, 2016: Iowa Iowa 14, Minnesota 7
79. October 15, 2016: Iowa 49, Purdue 35
80. November 12, 2016: Iowa 14, #2 Michigan 13
81. November 19, 2016: Iowa 28, Illinois 0
82. November 25, 2016: Iowa 40, #17 Nebraska 10

Iowa's season-opening win over Rutgers in 2016 was an utterly forgettable affair -- but it did enable Kirk Ferentz to (again) complete his set of victories over every other team in the league. Milestone-wise, Big Ten win #80 for Kirk Ferentz came in Iowa's stunning 14-13 upset of #2 Michigan. That was the game that really re-established Iowa's giantkiller bona fides. #2-ranked Michigan is also the highest-ranked team Iowa has ever beaten under Ferentz (Big Ten or otherwise). 

83. October 7, 2017: Iowa 45, Illinois 16
84. October 28, 2017: Iowa 17, Minnesota 10
85. November 4, 2017: Iowa 55, #3 Ohio State 24
86. November 24, 2017: Iowa 56, Nebraska 14

There's no particular milestone associated with Iowa beating #3 Ohio State 55-24 on November 4, 2017. I just wanted to point out that Iowa beat #3 Ohio State 55 to 24 on November 4, 2017. 

87. October 6, 2018: Iowa 48, Minnesota 31
88. October 13, 2018: Iowa 42, Indiana 16
89. October 20, 2018: #19 Iowa 23, Maryland 0
90. November 17, 2018: Iowa 63, Illinois 0
91. November 23, 2018: Iowa 31, Nebraska 28

Ferentz's 90th Big Ten win at Iowa was also his most lopsided ever -- a 63-0 utter demolition of Illinois that stands as one of the most complete performances of his tenure at Iowa. 

92. September 7, 2019: #20 Iowa 30, Rutgers 0
93. October 19, 2019: #23 Iowa 26, Purdue 20
94. October 26, 2019: #20 Iowa 20, Northwestern 0
95. November 16, 2019: #20 Iowa 23, #8 Minnesota 19
96. November 23, 2019: #17 Iowa 19, Illinois 10
97. November 29, 2019: #17 Iowa 27, Nebraska 24

Iowa's walk-off win over Nebraska last year not only capped a 9-win regular season and gave the program its fifth-straight win over the Huskers -- it also moved Kirk Ferentz past Hayden Fry in the record books. Fry ended his Iowa career with 96 Big Ten victories. That win over Nebraska gave Ferentz his 97th Big Ten win. 

98. November 7, 2020: Iowa 49, Michigan State 7
99. November 13, 2020: Iowa 35, Minnesota 7
100. November 21, 2020: Iowa 41, Penn State 21

And, finally, win #100 -- last Saturday's triumph over Penn State. 

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