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April 13, 2009

How do the Big Ten coaches really rank?

There was a firestorm only a couple of weeks ago when an initial ranking list of the Big Ten coaches were released that baffled many and upset others.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and how they see things but here at BuckeyeGrove.com we did not see them the way that they came out and decided to do our own.

Even with that there is still some disagreement between the experts as to how the rankings should fall but we have compiled a list as how we see it and break it down even further with how each of the experts voted on their own ballot.

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Jim Tressel
Ohio State
33 points

Noon (1) - When it comes to Big Ten coaches it is impossible to deny that he has had the most success in the league over the past several seasons. What is done out of the conference is not up for debate on this one.

Castel (1) - His Buckeyes have been the class of the conference over the past four years and he has a winning record against every Big Ten team except Wisconsin (3-3).

Wasserman (1) - There are times when some wonder if Tressel's offensive philosophy is going to catch up, but the fact of the matter is he is the only coach in the Big Ten to capture a national title since 1986.

Mark Dantonio
Michigan State
28 points

Noon (2) - The talent is starting to stockpile in East Lansing and once Dantonio has a full stable to work with the Spartans are going to be a difficult foe each and every week.

Castel (3) - After going 7-6 in his first season, he led them to a 9-4 record last year and a berth in the Capital One Bowl. Meanwhile, the players he recruited at Cincinnati were busy playing in the Orange Bowl.

Wasserman (3) - Dantonio's teams always seem to play to the best of their abilities and the coach is poised to bring the Spartans back up to the top of the Big Ten.

Joe Paterno
Penn State
26 points

Noon (3) - Wasn't it just two seasons ago that people were calling for JoePa's head? What a difference a Big Ten championship makes and don't give up on the wily veteran.

Castel (2) - He's not what he used to be, but Paterno is still the mastermind behind the Penn State program. At age 82, he is not the senile old man many paint him to be.

Wasserman (5) - Paterno has the most stripes in the Big Ten in terms of success, but nowadays there are questions regarding how much he actually still does.

Kirk Ferentz
25 points

Noon (4) - It might not always be pretty and the recruiting classes leave a lot to be desired but Iowa also seems to over-achieve.

Castel (5) - Ferentz does a good job with less talent but not enough to make him a top three coach in the conference.

Wasserman (2) - Iowa could be the hardest place in the Big Ten to recruit to, but Ferentz has been able to accomplish quite a bit in the conference despite not always having the most talented squads.

Rich Rodriguez
21 points

Noon (7) - The WVU pedigree means nothing in Ann Arbor and the first year at Michigan could only be characterized as an underwhelming season.

Castel (4) - An innovative offensive mind and a solid recruiter, Rodriguez could climb this list if he can turn things around quickly in Ann Arbor.

Wasserman (4) - It is hard to completely blame the head coach given his scheme was completely different than year's past and he didn't have the players to run the offense.

Pat Fitzgerald
18 points

Noon (6) - Fitz is right where he needs to be at NU. He often gets overlooked by critics but has the Cats almost to the level that Randy Walker had built.

Castel (6) - Fitzgerald has made his alma mater relevant in college football in just three years at the helm. Northwestern has gone from 4-8 to 6-6 to 9-4 in the three seasons under Fitz.

Wasserman (6) - His enthusiasm is always visible from the sideline, and Northwestern's record has improved... Fitz is still learning the ropes, but he could be one of the more passionate coaches in the conference.

Ron Zook
15 points

Noon (5) - It may be fashionable to bash the Zookster but the Illini did play in the Rose Bowl recently however.

Castel (9) - He lasted just three seasons at Florida and currently holds an 18-30 record at Illinois. His 2007 season is reason for Illini fans to have hope.

Wasserman (7) - Not many would argue with the fact that Zook is the most talented recruiter in the Big Ten, but sometimes it isn't so pretty on the field.

Tim Brewster
12 points

Noon (8) - The Gophers showed major signs of improvement early last season before falling flat. With the new stadium almost ready to go it will be put up or shut up time sooner than later.

Castel (7) - After a 1-11 campaign in his first year, the Gophers went 7-6 last year thanks in big part to Brewster's fierce recruiting abilities.

Wasserman (9) - While the culture seemed to be a tad different for Minnesota last year in addition to great energy by Brewster, it turned out to be the same old Gophers.

Bret Bielema
11 points

Noon (9) - Is the honeymoon over in Madison? The Badgers don't have the same bite as in years past and recruiting is down.

Castel (8) - Bielema was a hot commodity after going 12-1 in his first season. The Badgers dropped to 9-4 in his second season and then 7-6 last year (3-5 Big Ten) after being picked to finish third in the league.

Wasserman (8) - Bielema had an outstanding year is his first season at Wisconsin, only losing one game en route to a 12-1 record, but last season the growth just wasn't there.

Bill Lynch
5 points

Noon (10) - Lynch took over the Hoosiers under the worst of circumstances and has had to get things done with very little in the way of assets and resources.

Castel (11) - Lynch led the Hoosiers to a 7-6 season and a bowl game in his first year in Bloomington. Unfortunately, that is the highlight of Lynch's coaching career.

Wasserman (10) - While it may be hard to coach at Indiana, a basketball school, Lynch needed to have a better season after a 2007 season many will remember in Bloomington.

Danny Hope
4 points

Noon (11) - Hope has no history to base anything off of but it is not as if he is walking into a situation that is going to make things easy in the first year.

Castel (10) - Hope takes over after just one season as an assistant at Purdue. The former Louisville offensive coordinator went 35-22 in six seasons at Eastern Kentucky and is considered to be a rising name.

Wasserman (11) - Purdue has had some solid coaches in the past, namely Joe Tiller, so it will be interesting to see how Hope handle's this season.

Photos are courtesy of the Associated Press and US Presswire

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