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IOWA CITY — For the fourth straight season, Iowa officially had a Top 25 season.
The final Associated Press Poll of the 2021 season, released Tuesday, ranked the Hawkeyes at No. 23.
It’s Iowa’s lowest rank of the season in the AP Poll, slipping six spots after its 20-17 loss to Kentucky, which was ranked No. 25 in the AP Poll and No. 22 in the College Football Playoff rankings at the time, in the Citrus Bowl.
The Hawkeyes peaked at No. 2 in the AP Poll after their win over then-No. 4 Penn State. They never were higher than No. 15 after back-to-back double-digit losses to unranked opponents.
Iowa also finished at No. 23 in the USA Today Sports AFCA Coaches Poll.
The Hawkeyes’ top-25 finish means head coach Kirk Ferentz will receive a $125,000 bonus, according to his contract obtained by The Gazette through a public records request.
Ferentz also received a $500,000 bonus for winning eight-plus games, a $200,000 bonus for winning the Big Ten West before losing in the Big Ten title game and a $100,000 bonus for playing in a bowl game.
His assistant coaches are set to earn a 10 percent raise following the Top 25 finish.
Iowa is in a small group of college football programs to end the last four seasons ranked in the AP Top 25.
Iowa is one of eight schools. The other seven — Georgia, Alabama, Cincinnati, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Clemson — have appeared at least once in the College Football Playoff.
The Hawkeyes have finished no higher than No. 15 during that four-year stretch. Their last top-10 finish was 2015.
Three other Big Ten teams — No. 3 Michigan, No. 6 Ohio State and No. 9 Michigan State — finished in this year’s final AP Poll. Wisconsin, Minnesota and Purdue all received votes as well.
The SEC had the most ranked teams with five, followed by the Big Ten and ACC with four each. The Big 12 had three, and the Pac-12 had two.
AP college football Top 25 (Jan. 11, 2022)
- Georgia (14-1)
- Alabama (13-2)
- Michigan (12-2)
- Cincinnati (13-1)
- Baylor (12-2)
- Ohio State (11-2)
- Oklahoma State (12-2)
- Notre Dame (11-2)
- Michigan State (11-2)
- Oklahoma (11-2)
- Ole Miss (10-3)
- Utah (10-4)
- Pittsburgh (11-3)
- Clemson (10-3)
- Wake Forest (11-3)
- Louisiana-Lafayette (13-1)
- Houston (12-2)
- Kentucky (10-3)
- BYU (10-3)
- North Carolina State (9-3)
- Arkansas (9-4)
- Oregon (10-4)
- Iowa (10-4)
- Utah State (11-3)
- San Diego State (12-2)
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