The Register's Chad Leistikow and Rick Brown preview the Hawkeyes' trip to Pasadena, Calif., for their Rose Bowl game against Stanford.
IOWA CITY, Ia. — The first question on a joint teleconference between Rose Bowl coaching combatants Kirk Ferentz, of Iowa, and David Shaw, of Stanford, was about whether there should be an eight-team College Football Playoff.
Fair question, since Iowa and Stanford were the first two teams outside of this year’s playoff.
“Go ahead, Dave,” Ferentz said with a laugh.
“Yeah, thanks,” Shaw replied.
Shaw delivered a well-thought-out answer, noting that there are only four spots for five major conferences under terms of the current format, which is under contract through the 2025 season. His 11-2 Cardinal were the only conference champions who didn’t make the cut.
“I do believe at some point it’s going to be an eight-team playoff. I think it’s going to be unavoidable,” Shaw said. “I’m not upset by any stretch of the imagination. I just know that this year is a part of the process.
“To say we have four spots for Power 5 conferences doesn’t make any sense.”
Ferentz weighed in, too. Had Clemson lost to North Carolina in Saturday’s back-and-forth Atlantic Coast Conference title game, who knows — 12-1 Iowa might have gotten into that last spot even after the Big Ten Conference title-game loss to Michigan State.
Ferentz then weighed in: “I could see change coming down the road. But to me, it’s just fine where it is right now. It worked well last year. I think it’s worked well this year. … If this is the consolation prize, what a deal it is for both of us.”
Iowa's quarterback anxious for California visit
Ott’s redshirt update
Senior defensive end Drew Ott said he hoped to hear this month about whether or not he’s granted a medical redshirt to return to Iowa next season. Ott had to have Tommy John surgery stemming from a serious elbow injury he suffered in Game 2, and then was lost for the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee in Game 6.
While Ott played in more than 30 percent of Iowa’s games (one of the NCAA benchmarks for approval), player and coach have held out hope for a positive, common-sense ruling.
“Sooner the better. It’s not very fun being in limbo,” said Ott, who played five games as a true freshman. “… I’ve got a pretty good case with my elbow. Had to have surgery on it.”
Ferentz hopeful on Canzeri
Iowa played most of Saturday’s 16-13 loss in Indianapolis without leading rusher Jordan Canzeri, who left in the first quarter with a right-ankle sprain. He did not return.
The fifth-year senior is 24 yards short of becoming Iowa’s first 1,000-yard rusher since 2011.
“It’s a sprain, so they're tricky,” Ferentz said. “We have seen him come back in two weeks, and sometimes it takes longer. So we'll keep our fingers crossed, especially for his sake. It's his last chance to play a college football game. So I sure would hope that he can be back full speed for this game.”