Brian Ferentz added some fuel this week to the Nebraska-Iowa football rivalry.
The Hawkeyes' offensive coordinator appeared on the "Hawk Central" podcast and was asked about some new coaching staffs in the region and how they've affected Iowa's recruiting. After criticizing Minnesota and Iowa State for how they extend scholarship offers to recruits, he moved on to the Huskers.
"A lot of new staffs are selling kids on hope," Ferentz said. "They hope to win. They hope to graduate guys. They hope to have former players go on and play in the National Football League. They hope to develop guys, because they've never done it. You watch the draft and it always amazes me all the guys that (say) 'Congratulations to so and so,' and they never even coached the guy. They didn't develop them, but they're quick to take credit for it."
Ferentz never mentioned Nebraska by name — only referring to them as the school "a little bit west of Omaha" — but the subject of his remarks was clear.
"We recruit against a couple schools that talk about their pipeline," Ferentz said. "I'm thinking of one a little bit west of Omaha that talks about their pipeline. I think they've had like two guys drafted in two years, so I'm not sure how much of the pipeline the coaches have contributed to. But perception is reality in recruiting, so you work against that a little bit."
Ferentz, the son of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, added that Iowa is the only school in the league that can tout longevity and continuity with its head coach.
"Once you get kids on campus," Ferentz said, "and we can explain to them that here are the facts, and the bottom line is, anybody that you see on this sheet or this graphic, whether it's a graduation number or an NFL number, you're going back to 1999. Our head coach has recruited and coached and had a direct influence on every one of those guys. And no one else in our conference can say that."
Here are some more facts to consider:
Nebraska actually has had five players selected in the NFL draft in the last two years. One — current Ravens guard and 2016 draft pick Alex Lewis — was an offensive lineman. Since starting play in the Big Ten, NU has had one other offensive lineman — current Redskins guard Spencer Long — drafted into the NFL.
Iowa has also had five players selected in the NFL draft in the last two seasons. Same as Nebraska. The Hawkeyes have had one offensive lineman — center Austin Blythe — selected in that time. Same as Nebraska. But Iowa has had four other offensive linemen — including first-rounder Brandon Scherff — picked since 2011.
On the field, Nebraska and Iowa have split six games. Cumulatively over those six games, Iowa has run for just 11 more yards than NU, but the gap was wide in the Hawkeyes' 40-10 stomping of the Huskers in November: Iowa ran for 264 yards and Nebraska ran for 90.
“I bet their practices are like a bloodbath, because both sides of the ball kind of emulate that," defensive coordinator Mark Banker said after the loss.
In the last two seasons, Iowa has outrushed Nebraska by 1.71 and 2.70 yards per game, respectively.
Since coach Mike Riley arrived in late 2014, Nebraska and Iowa have legitimately squared off for offensive line prospects five times. The results:
>> John Raridon — son of former Husker lineman Scott Raridon — picked Nebraska over home-state Iowa before NU's previous coach, Bo Pelini, was fired. Raridon stuck with the Huskers.
>> Matt Farniok picked Nebraska over Iowa. Both teams were among Farniok's finalists, and Riley considered it one of the major recruiting victories of the 2016 class.
>> Alaric Williams picked Iowa over Nebraska in the 2016 class, but his choice appeared shaped by Farniok's choice to pick Nebraska over Iowa. NU prioritized Farniok.
>> Mark Kallenberger picked Iowa over Nebraska in the 2017 class. A Bettendorf, Iowa, native, Kallenberger visited NU in spring 2016 but ultimately stayed home.
>> Will Farniok committed to Nebraska over Iowa for the 2018 class. Will's older brother is Matt, and once Matt picked the Huskers, it made sense that Will would, too. Iowa offered Will a scholarship before Nebraska did, but the Huskers offered Will as a freshman.
Among tight ends — which can function as an extension of the offensive line — Nebraska and Iowa have squared off twice:
>> Omaha South star Noah Fant picked Iowa over Nebraska in the 2016 class. Fant indicated on more than one occasion that Iowa recruited him harder and better than the Huskers did. Fant is expected to have a breakout season as a true sophomore for the Hawkeyes.
>> Kurt Rafdal picked Nebraska over Iowa in the 2017 recruiting class. Rafdal was originally committed to Indiana, but dumped the Hoosiers once they fired coach Kevin Wilson. So his final decision came down to Nebraska and Iowa. The Huskers won.
As for Ferentz, he was promoted in January to be the Hawkeyes' offensive coordinator after five seasons as the offensive line coach. He'll call plays against Nebraska for the first time when Iowa comes to Lincoln on Nov. 24.
Click here to listen to Ferentz's full appearance on the "Hawk Central" podcast. His comments about Nebraska begin at about the 31-minute mark.