Kirk Ferentz? No thanks.

I don’t want this to come off as disrespectful to Lloyd Carr, because I appreciate everything he did for the University, but the last thing this program needs is Carr lite.

Sure, Ferentz would be another great face for the Michigan football team. He’ll do the right thing, say the right thing and uphold a lot of the long-standing traditions Carr emphasized a successor should have at his press conference last week.

But this is a head-coaching job, not political office. On-field performance needs to be weighed heavily when considering a head coach, and when that’s factored in, Ferentz isn’t the guy for the job.

Were you sick of Michigan’s offense consistently underachieving and being stuck in the stone age in terms of innovation? You weren’t alone. And you won’t be in the future, either, if Ferentz is hired.

Ferentz’s offense has failed to break the top 75 in total offense more than half of the nine seasons he’s coached in Iowa City. Maybe I’m just manipulating stats from seasons past to make him look bad like a lot of us evil journalists do. Eh, not quite. Iowa is 109th out of 119 Division I teams this season.

How about recruiting? He’s essentially been pushed out of the Chicago area by Charlie Weis and Ron Zook.

Performance in rivalry games? Ferentz is a dismal 3-6 against in-state rival Iowa State. Even though Carr struggled against Ohio State in the later stages of his career, at least he took care of business against Michigan State.

So if it’s even possible, Michigan’s offense could get even worse, its recruiting would regress and Little Brother might even start beating us more than once in a blue moon.

But all this should be overlooked because Ferentz would be a great face of the program?

No, it shouldn’t – especially if there are questions Ferentz might not even be the great program head that everyone assumes.

This season, nearly 10 percent of Ferentz’s players encountered legal trouble off the field.

Couple that with the housing controversy some of his players (including his son) were a part of a few years back, and Ferentz might not be Mr. Perfect after all.

With all these things considered (and I haven’t even gotten to his team’s average-at-best record over the past three years), should Ferentz even be a candidate for one of the marquee jobs in all of college sports? I won’t insult your intelligence by answering that myself.

The Michigan football team has an opportunity to make a statement with this hire. Does it want to look forward and embrace innovation, or does it simply want to try not to fail?

Ferentz may be the safe pick, but that definitely doesn’t make him the right one.

– Bell can be reached at scotteb@umich.edu.

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