Big Ten: Tom Moore

Kirk Ferentz took two months to promote a position coach (Phil Parker) to a coordinator job, and he's taking his time filling Iowa's other coordinator vacancy.

"The calendar is important to some degree, but what's more important I think is we get the right people in place for this program," Ferentz said at a Feb. 8 news conference.

Ferentz's deliberate approach to finding Ken O'Keefe's successor at offensive coordinator could be linked to the type of candidate he's considering. Two names that have come up, Greg Davis and Tom Moore, are former offensive coordinators who aren't strongly attached to other teams. There are also some internal candidates who could be promoted, among them wide receivers coach Erik Campbell.

While Ferentz could pluck a coach from another team, it seems unlikely he'll do so. Consequently, he can be measured with the hiring process.

Davis, who served as Texas' offensive coordinator from 1998-2010, resigned under pressure in December 2010 after the Longhorns went 5-7. Moore left the Indianapolis Colts in May after 12 seasons as the team's offensive coordinator. He spent the 2011 season as a consultant with the New York Jets.

Moore and Davis both have decades of experience as offensive coordinators.

Moore played quarterback at Iowa and started his coaching career as a graduate assistant with the Hawkeyes in 1961. He helped Peyton Manning develop into the NFL's premier quarterback for several years and directed a dynamic Colts offense. The knock on Moore is his age (73). He wouldn't be a long-term solution at Iowa, but he could do the job for a few years until another assistant, like Iowa's new offensive line coach Brian Ferentz, is ready to take charge.

As The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette's Marc Morehouse writes, "You could see Ferentz’s logic with Moore, a seasoned 'Yoda' type imparting knowledge and wisdom."

Davis is younger (60). He has no ties to Iowa, having spent most of his career in the south and southeast. He had a lot of success running the spread offense with quarterbacks Vince Young and Colt McCoy but switched to a pro-style system in 2010 and received heavy criticism as Texas ranked 88th nationally in scoring (23.8 ppg) and 58th in total offense (382.5 ypg). Davis won the Broyles Award, given to the nation's top assistant, after helping Texas to a national title in 2005.

Iowa has run primarily a pro-style offense during Ferentz's tenure, so it would be interesting to see which direction Davis would go if he's brought in.

Given the criticism Davis received late in his Texas tenure, Iowa fans would have some doubts about him. But he fits the Ferentzian mold as an experienced coach who tends to be conservative with his play calls.

Iowa fans, what say you? Who do you want as the team's next offensive coordinator?
It's Super Bowl week, and here in Chicago, we're celebrating the hiring of Mike Martz as Bears offensive coordinator after a month-long search. Hope Jay Cutler has a life insurance policy.

OK, moving on to less depressing topics, like the Big Ten and Super Bowl XLIV.

Once again, the Big Ten has plenty of connections to the game, including 20 former players on the two teams, more than any other conference.

All 11 member schools will be represented by a player and/or coach participating in the game. Michigan has the highest number of former players (four), followed by Ohio State (three) and then six teams -- Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin -- each with two former players. Penn State and Minnesota will have former coaches on the sideline Sunday.

Both head coaches have Big Ten roots, as the Colts' Jim Caldwell played at Iowa and served as an assistant at Iowa, Northwestern and Penn State. The Saints' Sean Payton had a one-year stint as an Illinois assistant in 1996.

Here's the full lineup of Big Ten links to Super Bowl XLIV, courtesy of the league office:

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Players

Kelvin Hayden, DB, Illinois
Dallas Clark, TE, Iowa
Bob Sanders*, DB, Iowa
Mike Hart, RB, Michigan
Marlin Jackson*, DB, Michigan
Ervin Baldwin, DE, Michigan State
John Gill, DL, Northwestern
Anthony Gonzalez*, WR, Ohio State
Curtis Painter, QB, Purdue
Jim Sorgi*, QB, Wisconsin

Coaches

Jim Caldwell, Head Coach (Played at Iowa from 1973-76; Assistant at Iowa in 1977, Northwestern in 1981 and Penn State from 1986-92)
Larry Coyer, Defensive Coordinator (Assistant at Iowa from 1974-77 and Ohio State from 1991-92)
Gene Huey, Running Backs (Assistant at Ohio State from 1988-91)
Tom Moore, Offensive Coordinator (Played at Iowa from 1957-60; Assistant at Iowa from 1961-62 and Minnesota from 1972-73 and 1975-76)
Ray Rychleski, Special Teams (Assistant at Penn State in 1991)
Bill Teerlinck, Defensive Assistant (Assistant at Indiana from 2003-04)
John Teerlinck, Defensive Line (Assistant at Illinois from 1980-82)

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Players

Pierre Thomas, RB, Illinois
Tracy Porter, CB, Indiana
Courtney Roby, WR, Indiana
Adrian Arrington, WR, Michigan
Jonathan Goodwin, C, Michigan
Zach Strief, OT, Northwestern
Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State
Will Smith, DE, Ohio State
Drew Brees, QB, Purdue
Jonathan Casillas, LB, Wisconsin

Coaches

Sean Payton, Head Coach (Assistant at Illinois in 1996)
Greg McMahon, Special Teams (Assistant at Minnesota from 1983-84 and Illinois from 1992-2004)
Bret Ingalls, Running Backs (Assistant at Northwestern from 2006-08)
Aaron Kromer, Offensive Line/Running Game (Assistant at Northwestern from 1999-2000)
Mike Mallory, Assistant Special Teams (Played at Michigan from 1982-85; Assistant at Indiana from 1986-87 and Illinois from 2001-05)
Terry Malone, Tight Ends (Assistant at Michigan from 1997-2005)

*-Injured reserve

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BIG TEN SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
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Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
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Monday, 1/12