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Whenever the Iowa football team loses a game it perhaps should have won, there is a segment of the fan base that calls for coach Kirk Ferentz to be fired.

Those conversations are generally short-lived, because most fans are aware that Ferentz has a costly buyout clause written into his contract.

Chris Smith of Forbes.com crunched the numbers this week, and his research paints a different picture. In a story headlined "Can Iowa Afford To Fire Kirk Ferentz? Absolutely," Smith argues that firing Ferentz wouldn't be as painful financially as fans might think.

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Smith's argument is contingent upon Iowa dismissing Ferentz before the end of January, in which case Iowa would save $3.15 million in longevity incentives.

Smith wrote: "It would sting, especially in that first year, but Iowa appears able to afford firing Ferentz if it's finally ready to start rebuilding its program. And considering that Iowa football has experienced consistent revenue growth (up about 10% annually over the last five years), has an increasingly valuable conference home and is currently among some struggling competition, there may not be a better time for a fresh start."

Ferentz, in his 16th year at Iowa, has posted a 110-80 record at the school, including 64-56 in Big Ten games. The Hawkeyes were 8-5 last year, losing to LSU in the Outback Bowl.

READ THE FORBES ARTICLE: 'Can Iowa Afford To Fire Kirk Ferentz? Absolutely.'

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