Iowa athletic director Gary Barta backs Kirk Ferentz, but says 7-5 season 'isn't acceptable'

Iowa athletic director Gary Barta is reiterating his support for football coach Kirk Ferentz, while acknowledging that the Hawkeyes failed to live up to expectations this season.

Barta said Saturday that the team's 7-5 season "isn't unacceptable," adding that success at Iowa is measured by championships. But Barta says Iowa has a strong foundation under Ferentz, now in his 16th season as head coach.

Ferentz has five seasons left on the 10-year contract extension he signed on the eve of the 2010 season. It includes a buyout clause of nearly $3 million a year should Iowa decided to fire Ferentz.

The Hawkeyes (7-5, 4-4 Big Ten) closed the season with home losses to Wisconsin and Nebraska.

They'll find out which bowl they're headed to on Sunday.