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2018 Positional Previews: Head Coaches

This would be much easier if there would be less turnover.

Something Else Harbaugh isn’t the best at.
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

As you could probably expect from a group as varied and diverse as the OTE college of cardinals writers, trying to gather opinions from the collective can be a bit like herding cats. For example, one “writer” actually gave a 2nd place vote to Barry Alvarez’s ventriliquism dummy! Another decided to vote 1st through 4th, then give P.J. Fleck 14th. That’s Speth-levels of dedication, friends. Unfortunately, I had to throw out the vote. There’s just no excuse, outside of using Papa Doc Duvalier’s ballot, for Paul Chryst to appear on 67% of them. That’s clearly either fraud or voting under the influence, and I will not allow that to occur on my watch. So here’s who actually belongs in the B1G’s Top 5.

5. Pat Fitzgerald (85-67, 48-50 B1G)

Somebody had to be 5th, and if Brohm is still at Purdue next year it’ll probably be him.

4. Jim Harbaugh (28-11, 18-8 B1G)

As it is the offseason, we are being forced to discuss how Michigan will be great and wonderful this upcoming fall. I think a big part of that is the simply amazing leadership of Coach Leader Legend Jim Harbaugh. Sure he�s been unable to do things one would expect from a coach being paid as well as he is, like finish in the top 2 of his division, or beat Ohio State, but he�s great and does great things and everyone else is cheating or something.

(That’s good enough, right? They’ll let my dog and children go now I hope.)

3. Mark Dantonio (100-45, 60-30 B1G, 1 B1G Title, 3 Division Titles)

Maybe it was his work, maybe it was Pat Narduzzi’s work, and maybe it was due to lax discipline, easy coursework, and being in the right place at the right time. But hey, Dantonio bounced back from being dead and buried after 2016 and had yet another very good season. Sparty has been above average for most of his time there, and he deserves credit for that.

2. Kirk Ferentz (143-97, 86-68 B1G, 2 B1G Titles, 1 Division Title)

Some of it is due to building Iowa back from being laughable when he took over for Hayden Fry. Some of it is due to outliving nearly every other coach in the B1G and there not being many people who have been here long. Ferentz deserves credit for sticking around as long as he has and reinventing himself a few times. We’re not going to talk about how the entire GDP of the state revolves around him and part of the reason he got that division title is because they couldn’t afford to fire him.

1. Urban Meyer (73-8, 47-3 B1G, 1 2 B1G Title, 6* Division Titles, 1 National Title)

If anyone thinks that Urbz isn’t far and away the best college football coach in the B1G, please send your name and address to and I’ll send some large men in white uniforms and giant nets to come take you away. Ohio State is a machine right now (albeit one that does ocassionally break down) and it doesn’t look like it’ll change as long as Meyer’s in charge.

Honorable Mention

PJ Fleck

He’s Minnesota’s coach, and I am biased. Most definitely not asleep at the desk.

Scott Frost

He’s coached last year’s National Championship team, but that wasn’t in the B1G so it doesn’t count. He did beat Maryland, though.

Joe Moorhead

He did an outstanding job leading the Penn State program the past few years, but he’s left for the SEC now. That wasn’t a great career move for the last coach to do that, but we’ll see how he does.