With Lovie Smith joining Illinois football, does the Big Ten have the best coaching roster?
Now that former Bucs coach Lovie Smith is officially Illinois' new head coach, let me pose a question: Does the Big Ten have the best collection of coaches in the country?
Smith failed with the Bucs, but he took the Bears to the Super Bowl. Michigan ringmaster Jim Harbaugh is known for his antics, but he took a team to the Super Bowl, too, and seems to be turning the Wolverines around. Urban Meyer is no longer a popular name down here, but the Ohio State coach is one of only five active coaches with a national championship (as a head coach).
That top tier matches well against any other league, at least with its star power. Add in Iowa's Kirk Ferentz (the reigning national coach of the year), Michigan State's Mark Dantonio (105-50 overall) and Pat Fitzgerald (70-56 at Northwestern, a school not known for its football prowess), and you've got a solid start. But the Big Ten drops off after that.
The conference's head coaches have a 705-465 record (.603 winning percentage) in their college careers. Compare that to the SEC (.667) or ACC (.648).
The SEC lost Steve Spurrier and Mark Richt, but two of those five championship coaches remain in the league. The ACC seemed to have the best results from the coaching carousel, landing two proven veteran (Miami's Mark Richt and Virginia's Bronco Mendenhall) and plucking two of the hottest mid-major coaches in the country (Virginia Tech's Justin Fuente and Syracuse's Dino Babers).
So what do you think? With Lovie Smith with the Illini, where does the Big Ten's coaching roster rank?