Which college football conference has the best collection of head coaches?
This question is frequently debated by fans and pundits alike, on talk radio shows and in bars across the country. Several leagues have legit cases for top honors.
Well, in the minds of ESPN, the conclusion has been reached. The Big Ten boasts the best coaches in the country.
ESPN Big Ten writer Brian Bennett made this assertion in an article today. He obviously cited Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh as being two of the best coaches in the nation, adding that Penn State’s James Franklin joined the elite ranks last year and Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio is also near the top.
But Bennett went beyond this, praising the fits of Paul Chryst at Wisconsin, Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern and Kirk Ferentz at Iowa. He also showed love for some of the Big Ten’s newer hirees.
As for the ACC, which Bennett says could be the closest to toppling the Big Ten, and the SEC, which is widely regarded as the top league, here is what Bennett said:
The ACC might come the closest, with Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher owning national titles and Louisville’s Bobby Petrino being one of the top offensive minds around. But unless you’re buying into North Carolina’s Larry Fedora or Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuente as elite, the list pretty much stops at three.
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What about the SEC, you ask? Saban rules, obviously. But who’s the second-best coach in that league? It might be Florida’s Jim McElwain. Or Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen. Would either school’s fan base trade them for Harbaugh? You betcha.
You can read the rest of Bennett’s piece here.
Surely, this conclusion won’t be debated, right?