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Big Ten Coaches Power Rankings: Week 5

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Voted on by SBNation writers, these power rankings answer the age old question: Who is the best coach in the Big Ten right here, right now?

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

After over a dozen responses I have counted the votes and determined the one, the only, the weekly Big Ten Coaches Power Rankings. Here are the results.

1. Mark Dantonio (Avg. Score: 1.23)

Team Record (Big Ten): 66-30 (39-19)

2014 Record (Big Ten): 2-1 (0-0)

Not really much to tell here. Mark Dantonio is the defending Big Ten and Rose Bowl Champion and his work has changed the landscape of the Modern Big Ten. While Urban Meyer has had the better career overall, Dantonio proved last December that he had the leg up on Meyer in the Big Ten. Unless either of these teams falter don't expect the top two to change until their matchup on November 8th.

Kevin Recio from On the Banks had this to say about Dantonio:

"Mark Dantonio has proven to be the best coach. Doesn't have the best recruits, but has a ridiculous player development system that got him to the Rose Bowl."

2. Urban Meyer (Avg. Score: 1.92)

Team Record (Big Ten): 26-3 (16-1)

2014 Record (Big Ten): 2-1 (0-0)

The polls show that the top two coaches are pretty clear in the Big Ten as only Meyer and Dantonio received #1 overall votes. Certainly one of the best recruiters in the conference, Meyers record in and outside of the Big Ten speaks for itself.

Kevin Recio had some strong thoughts on Meyer:

"Urban Meyer should be no lower than #2, and in fact I would have put him at #1 if not for a loss to MSU in the 2013 Championship Game. Has an undefeated season at Utah, two national championships at Florida, an undefeated season at OSU in his first year, followed by another undefeated regular season... I have no doubt OSU would be in position for the playoff if Braxton Miller was playing. Anyone who thinks Meyer isn't an elite coach is on drugs."

T3. Bo Pelini (Avg. Score: 4.00)

Team Record (Big Ten): 62-24 (17-8)

2014 Record (Big Ten): 4-0 (0-0)

Following the Elite Coaches come the Very Good ones and Pelini is the definition of very good. Good bowl record, good Big Ten record and a good recruiter but simply hasn't gotten it all together for a single season in the Big Ten. However at 4-0 this may be the year his Nebraska team finally breaks through. Pelini gets the edge over Franklin thanks to a single 2nd place vote, compared to none for Franklin.

T3. James Franklin (Avg. Score: 4.00)

Team Record (Big Ten): 4-0 (1-0)

2014 Record (Big Ten): 4-0 (1-0)

Franklin is the new comer in the rankings and I'm sure Penn State fans will be glad to see him so high. While I'm not quite sold on the SEC product, the man has gotten Penn State to a solid 4-0 record and looks to be on pace to reach Penn States bowl bid since the scandal. Franklin could easily climb the ranks to the Elite Coaches if the season goes his way or stay in the realm of very good if he can't quite put it together. Only time will tell.

5. Gary Andersen (Avg. Score: 4.77)

Team Record (Big Ten): 11-5 (6-2)

2014 Record (Big Ten): 2-1 (0-0)

Is there a better coaching factory than Wisconsin? Barry Alvarez to Bret Bielema to Gary Andersen and the school hasn't really missed a beat. Andersen had a good year last year and had a chance for a key win early in the year over LSU. With a seemingly weak West Division, Andersen will need to deliver a first or second place finish to satisfy fans and voters alike. His November matchup with Nebraska in Madison will be a big one.

6. Jerry Kill (Avg. Score: 7.62)

Team Record (Big Ten): 20-22 (8-16)

2014 Record (Big Ten): 3-1 (0-0)

Now we come to a coach that really nobody knows what to do with. He was voted as high as third and as low as 12th and everywhere in between? The result: 6th. Kill is a wildcard like Franklin, but with a lower ceiling and higher floor. Even with injuries at QB this weekends matchup with the struggling Wolverines could really change his ranking.

Kevin Recio had similar questions on Kill:

"Jerry Kill is a wild card. I still think it's too early to tell, but so far he looks like a long-term guy at Minnesota. Not sure if that means a lot of championship game appearances though."

7. Kevin Wilson (Avg. Score: 7.92)

Team Record (Big Ten): 12-27 (5-19)

2014 Record (Big Ten): 2-1 (0-0)

Kevin Wilson also had a wide spread of scores and could be on the rise if his IU squad continues to perform. Indiana's win at Missouri could be a program changer if things go right but this is still the team that lost to Bowling Green. Wilson's next challenge? Avoid a letdown loss against Maryland in Bloomington.

8. Kirk Ferentz (Avg. Score: 8.46)

Team Record (Big Ten): 110-80 (64-56)

2014 Record (Big Ten): 3-1 (0-0)

Krik "Contract" Ferentz really is the Albert Pujols of College Football. The guy has a Hall of Fame legacy and a great bowl record but just has not been able to put it together the last few years. Proof? From 2001 to 2010: 0.613 Winning Percentage, 6-3 in Bowl Games, 2 conference titles. From 2011 to 2013: 0.500 Winning Percentage, 0-2 in Bowl Games, 0 conference or division titles. With a contract that keeps him at Iowa until 2020 he'll have plenty of time to climb back up this list.

Kevin Recio ranked Ferentz a little higher and had this to say:

"Kirk Ferentz is in danger of falling in the rankings, but BCS bowl appearances and finding success at Iowa in this day and age gives him the benefit of the doubt. He's losing credit on that prestige, however."

9. Kyle Flood (Avg. Score: 8.85)

Team Record (Big Ten): 18-12 (0-1)

2014 Record (Big Ten): 3-1 (0-1)

In two years with Rutgers Kyle Flood has won 9 and then 6 games, leading his team to a Bowl Game loss each year. Flood took the reigns from ex-Tampa Bay Greg Schiano and looks to put his own mark on his program. The question is will Flood be able to rebound from his lackluster 6-7 campaign in 2013. So far at 3-1 with a game against Tulane to come it looks he'll be able too. A night game against Michigan will be big for the program.

10. Randy Edsall (Avg. Score: 9.08)

Team Record (Big Ten): 16-25 (0-0)

2014 Record (Big Ten): 3-1 (0-0)

Randy Edsall has improved his win total every year with Maryland and will look to build on his 7-6 campaign in 2013. With 3 wins already Edsall could be well on his way, but we won't know until we see how he handles Big Ten play. Saturdays matchup between Maryland and Indiana is my game of the week.

11. Pat Fitzgerald (Avg. Score: 10.46)

Team Record (Big Ten): 56-48 (27-37)

2014 Record (Big Ten): 1-2 (0-0)

Oooo Northwestern... ooo poor poor Northwestern. Two seasons ago Pat Fitzgerald was fresh off a 10-3 season with the program's first Bowl Game win in years, over an SEC team no less. Sadly, Northwestern is 6-9 since (including 1-7 in Big Ten play) and hasn't looked anything like they did in 2012. While injuries, personal issues and student unions have had their own effect on the football program, the blame still has to lie at the foot of the head coach. Until Northwestern can right the ship, Pat Fitzgerald will remain in the bottom of the Big Ten.

12. Brady Hoke (Avg. Score: 11.31)

Team Record (Big Ten): 28-15 (15-9)

2014 Record (Big Ten): 2-2 (0-0)

Watch any video from the Utah game and you'll immediately understand why Hoke is here. The team is a mess, Gardner has regressed, coaches are fighting and every quote coming from Brady only makes it worse. Unless the product on the field improves significantly Hoke, and by extension Michigan football, will stay on the hottest of seats.

13. Darrell Hazell (Avg. Score: 12.46)

Team Record (Big Ten): 3-13 (0-8)

2014 Record (Big Ten): 2-2 (0-0)

Purdue got pounded by Central MIchigan at home. At home. Let that sink it. At least Indiana kept it close before losing to Bowling Green. Purdue is a bit of mess right now but Hazell is still new and the jury is hardly out on his future even if it is out on this season. Travis Miller from Hammer & Rails has some more detail on Hazell:

"Darrell Hazell at Purdue might be turning things around a bit. Unlike last season, Purdue has at least shown some moment of competence in the first four games. The Boilers have a very long way to go, but it looks like they could at least win a game or two in Big Ten play now."


14. Tim Beckman (Avg. Score: 12.92)

Team Record (Big Ten): 9-19 (1-15)

2014 Record (Big Ten): 3-1 (0-0)

Stop me if you've heard this before, Illinois has a solid record entering Big Ten play. Beckman has followed up 2-1 and 3-1 starts with 0-9 and 1-7 finishes... which to be fair is improvement. Given time Beckman could develop something worthwhile in Champaign but until then a 1-15 Big Ten record is hard to overcome.


The values were the result of a survey of SBNation writers. If you were not invited to this survey, are a member of SBNation and would like to participate please say so in the comments and you will be included in the email list.

Thanks to all the following writers for taking the time to complete the polling!

Mike Fiammetta

Luke Zimmermann
Matt Brown

GopherNation
GoAUpher

Jim Vainisi

Kevin Trahan

Travis Miller (BoilerTMill)

- Pete Rossman

Pete Volk

Bryan Steedman

- Kevin Recio

RossWB