I've decided to make two lists, based on veteran coaches and rookie coaches/coaches one season in. We've had a ton of turnover in this conference in the last five years! Also, consider this: Pat Fitzgerald is the second longest tenured head coach in this conference with 8 seasons under his belt and he just turned 40. Also, Kirk Ferentz has been coaching since 1999! I was a freshman in college that year!
1. Urban Meyer
3-time national champion. First one with the Buckeyes. And last season's Championship was apparently one year ahead of schedule. Good for OSU, scary for everyone else. You have some crazy talent with Ezekiel Elliott, Cardale Jones, Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett. Everyone wishes they had your QB problem. One thing to note is that former Buckeye OC Tom Hermann took the head coaching job at Houston. Will the offense drop off this year? Hash it out in the comments.
2. Mark Dantonio
He's consistently winning with 2 and three star players. He only lost to the participants of the national championship game. The win over Baylor in the Cotton Bowl only helped further embarrass the Big 12. Will the loss of Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi mean a drop off for his defense now that Harlon Barnett and Mike Tressel have taken over? Will the defense return to Galaxy class status this year? At least Connor Cook is returning for his senior season, so I guess the offense will be alright. Rest assured, our MSU contingent will be heard in the comment section.
3. Jerry Kill
Kill gets the nod over Ferentz and Fitz because he has a majority of Minnesota's trophies this year and is building a solid program, brick by brick. I like how Minnesota is running manball out of the beloved ESPN-approved Golden-I offense. Also, the $5 Bits of Broken Chair trophy is the best new trophy in years! Jerry, one of these years you really need to win a bowl game. You've never won a bowl game when you were coaching the Salukis, the Huskies, or the Golden Gophers. Also, winning the Axe might be nice. Bonus points if you can send Goldy the Gopher in a stealth ninja raid to Madison to reclaim the Slab of Bacon.
4. Kirk Ferentz
Kirk gets the nod over Fitz because he's won more than one bowl game and has had periods of high sustained success. I believe, eventually, the program will recover, but you might need to get a new offensive coordinator first. Also, how the hell did you keep AIRBHG away from your team last year?
5. Pat Fitzgerald
I think that you'll at least go to a bowl game next year. You've gotta pick a QB to replace Trevor Siemian and beef up the offensive line play. The offense is in good hands with Justin Jackson and the defense will be ably led by LB Anthony Walker. No more 5-7 seasons please! Also, it sucks being Hatless! GET THE DAMN HAT BACK! Last but not least, I hope that you can the defensive line ready for Stanford in the season opener!
6. Kevin Wilson
He's at least won a trophy game, and the Indiana administration appears to be patiently working with him. He's had a lot of injuries to deal with. Still, when you have the Bucket two years in a row, your former teen model QB Zander Diamont gets to smoke a stogie in the locker room. SEC East Champions!!!
7. Tim Beckman
Unlike Darell Hazell, he's been to a bowl game. And he has the Hat.. BOOOOO. If he didn't have the Hat he might've been out of a job. Nice job beating Minnesota last year! I have no idea how that happened. Remember, the Chicago media is not your propaganda department....
8. Darell Hazell
I think you'll be coaching in the MAC next year. Sorry man. Maybe growing a Mustache will help? I don't think that Burke will give you the resources to succeed because he's notoriously cheap. You gotta do something to get the students out of the Breakfast Club, and no, Drew Brees exhausted his eligibility long ago.
1. Jim Harbaugh
Harbaugh comes in first because he transformed a moribund Stanford program into a BCS powerhouse. Also, nice job with the 49ers. Let's see if he can take Brady Hoke's recruits and challenge OSU and MSU in the loaded east.
2. James Franklin
PSU has no more scholarship restrictions from the Sandusky era sanctions. Also, you did a nice job elevating Vanderbilt from the SEC cellar to a competitive mid-tier team. I think PSU will eventually challenge Michigan, MSU and OSU in the murderers row that is the B1G East. Just beef up that offensive line so Christian Hackenberg doesn't get murdered every week.
3. Paul Chryst
The newest (possibly short tenured?) Wisconsin head coach inherits a good roster from Bielema and Andersen. So long as he can recruit beer, brat and cheese fed road graders from small towns in Wisconsin and hand the ball off to bell cow running backs Wisconsin will be fine. I'm not sold on your past because of your record at Pitt, but Wisconsin gets the nod over Nebraska due to the head to head victories over the past few years. /Wisconsin Scores Again
4. Mike Riley
Welcome to the Big Ten! You're in for quite a challenge coaching Nebraska. You have 80,000 fans questioning your every move and a fanbase that wants you to win at least nine games every year, preferably more. You can't coast along with middling records every year like you did in Corvallis. Good luck challenging Wisconsin and Minnesota in the West! Also, if you beat Minnesota this year please take possession of the $5 bits of broken chair trophy! Here's a hint: make sure your defense is ready for Wisconsin this year...
5. Randy Edsall
I still don't know enough about Maryland to form a good opinion about you, but you get the nod over Kyle Flood because you built UConn and moved it into what used to be called the Big East.
6. Kyle Flood
I think that New Jersey has better high school players than the DC area. Also, you won the prestigious OTE Trivalry Delaware trophy. Your squad performed decently in the B1G east this year, and defeating Michigan for your first B1G win was a nice touch. However, you may wish that you were back in whatever your former conference is called now because your division is completely ridiculously insane.