Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, September 17, 2015

Which first-year Big Ten coach will win the most games in 2015: Nebraska?s Mike Riley, Wisconsin?s Paul Chryst or Michigan?s Jim Harbaugh? Each is off to a 1-1 start this season. And each coach teems with promise and potential.

I asked some leading college football media members what they thought. Read what they told me.

Bill Bender, Sporting News: Paul Chryst. Look at the schedule. No Ohio State, Michigan State or even Michigan. The Badgers' schedule is set up for at least nine wins; maybe more if they can win at Nebraska and Minnesota.

[ MORE: Week 3 schedule | Week 3 previews | Power Rankings | Bowl Projections | Player Rankings | Latest polls | Marvin McNutt Q&A | Big Ten Mailbag | Like GIFs? Click here! | Check out these Nebraska cleats | Leonte Carroo arrested | Get all of our Week 3 coverage ]

Mike Huguenin, Paul Chryst. He took over the program that is in the best shape (think about that for a minute, Wisconsin trumping Michigan and Nebraska) and, not coincidentally, has the best talent with which to work. Long-term, it's a different answer. But for this season, Chryst's team will be the most successful of the three. His path is smoother, too, because he is a former Badgers assistant whose style of play meshes with what is on hand.

Dan Duggan, NJ Advance Media: Paul Chryst. I think Jim Harbaugh will have Michigan back on top, but it'll take a little time. Chryst inherited the best situation to win now.

Chris Emma, 670 The Score in Chicago and Jim Harbaugh: What do you get with one of the best coaches in football? Growth in Year 1. Michigan will begin to realize its potential, finishing with a sweet 8-4 record, a stepping stone for better things.

Marcus Fuller, St. Paul Pioneer Press: Jim Harbaugh. I just think he has the most talent of the three new coaches. Michigan's schedule is manageable, as well.


About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

And if you want to leave a comment on this post, use the box below. All comments need to be approved by a moderator.