LOS ANGELES -- All there is to say about the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual, apparently, has been said.
Stanford coach David Shaw and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz attended the head coaches’ press conferences Wednesday morning in downtown Los Angeles and said what coaches generally say after discussing the game ad nauseum with the media for the past several days.
“What you’re looking at,” Ferentz said, “are two teams that have competed extremely hard, week in and week out.”
— Mitch Sherman (@mitchsherman) December 30, 2015
Earlier Wednesday, Ferentz was named as the recipient of the 2015 Dodd Trophy, adding to his collection of national coach-of-the-year hardware.
“I’m thrilled for him,” Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said. “He deserves it.”
Ferentz, to open his portion of the event, was asked why he stands -- instead of using a chair -- at press conferences.
“I have a hard time getting out of a chair anymore,” Ferentz said. “I’m getting old.”
His portion of the press conference, allotted 25 minutes, lasted 13.
They've been to Disneyland and together devoured more than 1,000 pounds of prime rib. Team photos are set for Thursday at the stadium.
Shaw, to coach in his third Rose Bowl of the past four seasons, said the festivities never get old.
“We love coming down here every other year, playing UCLA,” Shaw said, “because it’s such a great environment. But the Rose Bowl is a completely different environment. There’s an energy there.”
Shaw said that midway through the first quarter Friday, “it’s going to hit you -- this is the Rose Bowl.
“It is different. It is special. There’s nothing that’s old hat. Whether you’ve been here once or you’ve been here three times, you feel how special it is.”
The fifth-year Stanford coach said he admired Iowa from early in this season as the Hawkeyes continued to win without gaining much attention. Stanford, too, stayed off the radar for several weeks after its season-opening loss at Northwestern.
“Both of our teams gained a lot of momentum without a lot of fanfare,” Shaw said. “To me, that’s the sign of a well-coached team. It’s also the sign of an unselfish team.”
Any similarities between Iowa and Stanford, according to Ferentz, “would be a real compliment to our football team.”
Shaw, despite the early loss, said he saw the Cardinal as a Rose Bowl-caliber team before this season.
Ferentz did not necessarily envision the same for the Hawkeyes.
“If I had made that claim back in August,” he said, “somebody might have been chasing to lock me up.”