Meyer, Fitzgerald lead B1G in SN coach rankings

Sporting News’ Matt Hayes released his complete ranking of every college football coach Monday, and a pair of Big Ten coaches landed the top 10. Ohio State’s Urban Meyer came in at No. 2, behind only Alabama’s Nick Saban, while Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald checked in at No. 8. See where every Big Ten coach is ranked in this post.

[ 2013 college football coach rankings ]

2. Urban Meyer – Ohio State
8. Pat Fitzgerald – Northwestern
13. Bill O’Brien – Penn State
23. Brady Hoke – Michigan
27. Mark Dantonio – Michigan State
31. Bo Pelini – Nebraska
47. Kirk Ferentz – Iowa
50. Gary Andersen – Wisconsin
56. Jerry Kill – Minnesota
75. Kevin Wilson – Indiana
81. Darrell Hazell – Purdue
112. Tim Beckman – Illinois

15. Bret Bielema – Arkansas
29. Rich Rodriguez – Arizona

Too high: Bill O’Brien (13) – I get what O’Brien accomplished last season under terrible circumstances and with a depleted roster, but he’s been a head coach for a grand total of one season. In other words, it’s way too early to accurately rank him, let alone put him 10 spots ahead of a guy like Brady Hoke, who won at Ball State and San Diego State and has put Michigan back on the map.

Too low: Brady Hoke (23) – Put it this way: Hoke is only six spots ahead of former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez. Yeah, Michigan fans will have a field day with that one. Seriously, though, what does Hoke need to do to get more respect? The guy turned Ball State and San Diego State into winners, and he immediately put Michigan back on the map despite inheriting a roster that didn’t fit his system.

Biggest surprise: Pat Fitzgerald (8) – Not that Fitzgerald isn’t worthy of being mentioned among the nation’s elite, it’s just rare for Northwestern to get the respect it deserves in these kind of things.


Your Opinion?
Show Comments (14 Comments)
Craig Phillips on 4/22/2013 @ 2:21pm EDT Said:

I agree: one season does not a career make for O’Brien; Hoke deserves better; Fitzgerald has earned the respect; and I’m surprised Ferentz isn’t ranked lower: exactly what has he done besides not being able to beat Iowa State?

Josh on 4/22/2013 @ 2:37pm EDT Said:

Pelini is way too low. I get that he gets less respect because a few blow out losses, but Brady Hoke barely has a winning record and hasn’t even played for a Big 10 title, Bill O’Brien is just getting the sentimental vote and Dantonio hasn’t ever beaten Pelini. I saw a list that had Gary Anderson ahead of Pelini. What a joke! I get the fact that he hasn’t won a conference title yet, but he’s played in the title game 3 of the last 4 years. No other coach on here can say that.

Dan B. on 4/22/2013 @ 3:04pm EDT Said:

Hoke, as stated, is way too low. Perhaps a victim of having a rock star DC in Mattison, or the concept that the Michigan name alone draws talent. It’s laughable to have him in the same tier as Dantonio though – talk about programs trending in opposite directions. Fitzgerald was a little surprising to me, but NW has a habit of being quietly good and ending up high in the B1G standings at the end of the season.

Hawkeyecheesehead on 4/22/2013 @ 4:36pm EDT Said:

Ferentz is way overpaid if you put any credibility into these rankings.

Waylon Carlson on 4/22/2013 @ 4:51pm EDT Said:

Ummm……….. These rankings suck Pelini should be number 2 in the Big 10 behind Urban. Also Saban is a cheater and soon enough he will get caught for that dirty SEC program he runs!!!!! Entire SEC needs a major clean up, alot of dirt stuff goin on behind the scenes at alot of those programs.

Stephen on 4/22/2013 @ 7:26pm EDT Said:

This list looks strangely like a list of “what have you done for me lately”? With lately defined such as a two year congressional term.
That’s often a good point to secure a job for the next couple of years for a coach but I find it inadequate judge accomplishment.

In addition coaches who do not by default always have hot and cold running blue chip faucet’s running into their programs (Minnesota/Indiana) need more time to build if indeed they will build.. It does not address one disastrous year of injury problems (Iowa). So I believe this list is really not taking a full accounting of the pas or body of work of many of these coaches.

Kudos by the way to Coach Fitzgerald. 8 may be a bit lofty but he does deserve high if you want to compare the apples with the apples and the oranges with the oranges.
By that I mean you have to ask yourself what those other guys may have accomplished at NU and would they be too scared (of failure) to hang around long enough to find out?

Hank Moody on 4/23/2013 @ 12:00am EDT Said:

LOL at Dan B. The UM narrative is so predictable, it’s laughable. UM was 8-5 last year, one game better than MSU (who they barely beat and needed some help doing so). But, yeah, they are trending in different directions. UM out recruits MSU every year, so you can’t be talking about recruiting. But being a UM fan boy, you likely are. Recruiting and talking about football circa 1940 is what you do. Oh, UM fan boy….Mattison is the MOST overrated coach in the BIG. Narduzzi is the league’s best DC and other than UM fan boy, I’m sure most would agree. Other than Burgess, there is not a coach I’d rather have at MSU than our current staff compared to your band of figureheads. Now go get your shinebox.

Doug on 4/23/2013 @ 10:36am EDT Said:

Thank you Hank, you read my mind, Dan is the typical Michigan fan though, what else did you expect? Hoke hasn’t even played for a big ten title, and Michigan had one of the softest schedules in the land to go 11-2 and play a terrible VTech team in one of the worst BCS bowls ever.

Josh on 4/23/2013 @ 11:04am EDT Said:

Well said Doug!!! Michigan constantly has pulled in top rated talent. How many titles has that won them in the last 40 years. Answer, exactly one half of one title!!!!!

Doug on 4/23/2013 @ 11:24am EDT Said:

Yep even under Rich Rod, Michigan pulled in more talent than MSU, yet MSU’s 2 and 3 stars kept beating those 4 and 5 stars….

Will on 4/23/2013 @ 6:25pm EDT Said:

Hank, Mattison has 2 national championship rings that say he’s more legit than Narduzzi, and Josh, what has MSU accomplished since 1966? Michigan earned half of its Big Ten titles since Bo became coach in 1969. the writer of this article even agreed that Hoke should be higher

Mark Peshaba on 4/24/2013 @ 8:25am EDT Said:

Pelini is where he should be. Hoke is way to low.

Josh on 4/24/2013 @ 9:52am EDT Said:

Michigan State? A little. I’m not an MSU fan. The point is that Michigan gets WAY too much credit for above average results the last 40 years. They are a good solid program with a fantastic Marketing Department. One half of one national title in my lifetime does not make you elite. Michigan State, Penn State and Nebraska all hold their own against Michigan, yet the media still thinks it’s 1975 when it was “The Big 2 and the little 8″…err 10… err 12.

Tim on 4/18/2014 @ 8:59am EDT Said:

First off define “COACH”? Is it just about wins and loses? I don’t think so, and your list eludes to that, so why is Coach Ferentz near the bottom?. Pat Fitzgerald #3 and Franklin # 4. Fitzgerald hasn’t accomplished much and Franklin is unproven. Yet you rank Kirk Ferentz # 9. He is the epitome of the word coach. He takes average talent at best and turns them into NFL superstars!!! He has placed more kids in the NFL than any other big 10 team besides OSU (and ranks 7th among all NCAA teams) over the last 7-10 years. Not bad company to keep. Oh yeah he is the only coach on that list who hasn’t had sanctions brought against his team. Some of the players include in no specific order…Chad Greenway (has been near the top of the NFL in tackles ever since he joined MN and he came from 8-8 football in SD), Bob Sanders (NFL defensive player of year and hardly on radar coming out of Erie, PA) Pat Angerer (another top tackler in NFL) numerous offensive linemen (to many to name) and DB’s (Spievey, Fletcher, Hyde, Prater, Godfrey). Oh yeah and a guy named Dallas Clark ( a walk-on LB now an ok TE in NFL). You need to reconsider your rankings. Oh yeah Frenetz has a pretty good record against the best conference in the country at 4-2, should be 5-1 but the officials elected to miss a blatant offside call on an on-side kick-but hey who are we to say the refs are perfect!