Ranking the Big Ten head football coaches:

We went through and ranked the quarterbacks, running backs, and pass-catchers during our post-spring rankings. Now we are going to rank the Big Ten head coaches.

The Big Ten has plenty of really good coaches – which is a big reason why the Big Ten is one of the best conferences in football – and the top five-to-six coaches could go in about any order you choose.

How we determined these rankings are pretty simple: records, longevity, and highest AP finish in the polls. Also, some other factors came into play like recruiting – and recruiting challenges that teams run into like academic restrictions that a team like Michigan or Northwestern may face, or the challenges that teams like Iowa or Illinois may face to get recruits to come play for them . If a coach can overcome those challenges, like Kirk Ferentz has done for 23 years at Iowa, that bolstered their ranking.

Here is our ranking of the 14 coaches that the Big Ten has to offer.

List:

Everything Jim Harbaugh had to say at the Michigan Football Showcase:

Scott Frost – Nebraska:

scott frost nebraska:

scott frost nebraska:

Photo: Isaiah Hole:

Years at Nebraska: four years:

Record at Nebraska: 15-29:

Best finish at Nebraska: 5-7 in 2019:

Zero winning seasons:

Bret Bielema – Illinois:

Photo: Isaiah Hole:

Years at Illinois: one year:

Record at Illinois: 5-7:

Best finish at Illinois: 5-7 in 2021:

Zero winning seasons:

Mike Locksley – Maryland:

Photo: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports:

Years at Maryland: four years:

Record at Maryland: 13-23:

Best finish at Maryland: 7-6 in 2021:

One winning season:

* Locksley coached in 2015 for Maryland then returned in 2019.

Tom Allen – Indiana:

Jan 2, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Indiana Hoosiers head coach Tom Allen reacts against the Mississippi Rebels during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports:

Years at Indiana: six years:

Record at Indiana: 26-32:

Best finish at Indiana: 6-2 in 2020:

Highest AP finish: 12th:

Two winning seasons:

Jeff Brohm – Purdue:

Photo: Isaiah Hole:

Years at Purdue: five years:

Record at Purdue: 28-29:

Best finish at Purdue: 9-4 in 2021:

Two winning seasons:

Greg Schiano – Rutgers:

Photo: Isaiah Hole:

Years at Rutgers: 13 years *

Record at Rutgers: 76-81:

Best finish at Rutgers: 9-3 in 2020:

One winning season in the Big Ten:

* Coached Rutgers from 2001-2011 in the Big East then came back to Rutgers in 2020.

Mel Tucker – Michigan State:

Mel Tucker, Michigan State’s new football coach, speaks during a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo / Al Goldis)

Years at Michigan State: two years:

Record at Michigan State: 13-7:

Best finish at Michigan State: 11-2 in 2021:

Highest AP finish: No. 9:

One winning season:

PJ Fleck – Minnesota:

Nov 9, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach PJ Fleck looks on after a touchdown in the first half against the Penn State Nittany Lions at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports:

Years at Minnesota: five years:

Record at Minnesota: 35-23:

Best finish at Minnesota: 11-2 in 2019:

Highest AP rank: 10th:

Three winning seasons:

James Franklin – Penn State:

Photo: Isaiah Hole:

Years at Penn State: eight years:

Record at Penn State: 67-34:

Best finish at Penn State: has had two 11-2 seasons:

Highest AP finish: No. 8:

Seven winning seasons:

Pat Fitzgerald – Northwestern:

Photo: Isaiah Hole:

Years at Northwestern: 16 years:

Record at Northwestern: 109-90:

Best finish at Northwestern: has had three 10-3 seasons:

Highest AP finish: 10th:

Nine winning seasons:

Paul Chryst – Wisconsin:

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 30: Head coach Paul Chryst of the Wisconsin Badgers reacts after scoring against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl at Allegiant Stadium on December 30, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Badgers defeated the Sun Devils 20-13. (Photo by David Becker / Getty Images)

Years at Wisconsin: seven years:

Record at Wisconsin: 65-23:

Best finish at Wisconsin: 13-1 in 2017:

Highest AP finish: No. 7:

Six winning seasons:

Ryan Day – Ohio State:

Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day leads his team onto the field prior to the NCAA football game against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021.
Ohio State Buckeyes At Michigan Wolverines:

Years at Ohio State: three years:

Record at Ohio State: 34-4:

Best finish at Ohio State: 13-1 in 2019:

Highest AP finish: No. 3:

Three winning seasons:

Jim Harbaugh – Michigan:

Photo: Isaiah Hole:

Years at Michigan: seven years:

Record at Michigan: 61-24:

Best finish at Michigan: 12-2 in 2021:

Highest AP finish: No. 3:

Six winning seasons:

Kirk Ferentz – Iowa:

Photo: Isaiah Hole:

Years at Iowa: 23 years:

Record at Iowa: 178-110:

Best finish at Iowa: 12-2 in 2015:

Highest AP finish: No. 7:

18 winning seasons:

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