Sporting News: Hoke 4th best B1G Coach

Submitted by MichiWolv on May 4th, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Sporting News' Steve Greenberg ranked the coaches of the B1G and Hoke came in at 4th place.  Somewhat of a shock considering last season he was coach of the year for the B1G and in the running for National Coach of the Year.  Ahead of him are:

1. Urban Meyer
2. Bret Bielema
3. Mark Dantonio

While those are the 4 best coaches in the B1G, I think the order is interchangable and would have thought Hoke would have gotten more credit for turning a 7-6 team into an 11-2 BCS Champ with players that were recruited to run a spread.  Think about that...  even with all the talented Michigan teams we have had, we only had 1 BCS victory and Hoke matched that in his first season.  Granted, most of our losses were against a talented USC team in their back yard.  

The rest of the order for those interested is:

5. Kirk Ferentz
6. Bo Pelini
7. Pat Fitzgerald
8. Bill O'Brien
9. Jerry Kill
10. Tim Beckman
11. Danny Hope
12. Kevin Wilson

Of course, over at, Hoke leads with 70% of the votes, followed by Dantonio(15%), Meyer(8%), Bielema(5%), Other(2%).  What are your thoughts and non-homerish picks?




May 4th, 2012 at 5:22 PM ^

Dantonio has a damn shiny reccord to date and Bilema has been geting it done. We haven't proven it against either of them.

On the other hand, Urban has been out of coaching for a year, hasn't coached a down in the Big Ten, and things weren't nearly as hot at the end of his Florida tenure... #1? Not so much.


May 4th, 2012 at 5:48 PM ^

I forgot that. Even so, he hasn't yet coached in the Big Ten. I'm not sure how he can be #1. I don't have a problem with him being ranked highly, but I think maybe HIM at #4. Bilema, Dantonio, Hoke, Meyer. It's not a big difference, anyhow. Those four are tight and then it's a distant race.


May 4th, 2012 at 5:50 PM ^

It's not a list of who has done the best coaching in the Big Ten league - it's a list of who are the best coaches that happen to coach in the Big Ten.

And I'm not sure the argument saying he has to prove it in the BigTen really holds much water - even the biggest BigTen homers would admit the SEC has been the best conference over the past 6-8 years.  If you succeed in the top tier of football, it is a safe assumption you will do fine in a lower tier (even if there is a different style of play).


May 4th, 2012 at 5:53 PM ^

Usain Bolt should automatically make the 4 x 1000 Olympic Relay Team because he's the best 100 yard sprinter?

Nobody is arguing that the guy deserves to be up high on the list based on his overall accomplishments, but until you have played a Big Ten season against most of the other Big Ten coaches, it is impossible to say one is the best. I give the best to Bilema. He's been beating up on the conference the longest.


May 4th, 2012 at 7:28 PM ^

Meyer at his peak is better than the other 3 at their peaks.  The SEC is better than the B1G.  Yes I will agree with all of this.  But is Meyer still going to be at his peak?  Last year he didn't coach, and the year before that, he was 7-5 and then beat a 7-5 Penn St team to go to 8-5.  There are a lot of other questions that are still unanswered too.  Not saying he won't be able to recruit as well at Ohio because people will still buy into his hype, but he won't get as many Florida boys that have speed as he did at Florida.  He will be successful at Ohio.  Will he be as successful at Ohio as he was at Florida?  Will he be as successful at Ohio as Tressel?  Only time will tell for those questions.  I'm not saying he isn't the best of the Big Ten, but I think it's a horse-race between the top 4 and that the writer took the "safe bet" by naming Meyer the best of the bunch.  Sure it's warranted, but it makes for an interesting debate.


May 4th, 2012 at 5:47 PM ^

People seem to blur the lines between best and highest-profile coach.  I don't think it makes sense to say Urban is the best coach in the B1G when he hasn't done anything.  On the other hand, you can easily make a strong argument for him being the highest profile coach.

We'll see who is best come November.


May 4th, 2012 at 5:33 PM ^

All he does is go to bowl games and beat the big boys in conference once in a while at Northwestern.  I think if you asked all 12 schools which of these coaches they'd want leading their program, he would place second or third behind Meyer.  Bo Pelini?  Can't believe he's ranked higher.


May 4th, 2012 at 5:58 PM ^

Sounds about right, since Urban has won 2 NC, BElima is a 2 time running Rose Bowl participant, Dantonio has been getting it done, and Hoke won the Sugar Bowl his first ytyear in an AQ conference.


These rankings will change in a couple years.  And if I were a betting man, I would wager Hoke being no. 1 or 2.

Marley Nowell

May 4th, 2012 at 6:03 PM ^

A coach that hasn't even stepped on the field yet is the best coach in the conference?  While we're at it can we vote Ondre Pipkins B10 Freshman of the Year?


May 4th, 2012 at 8:33 PM ^

He's still the most reputable coach in the B1G with the most national championships to his name.  Despite the fact that I have no positive feelings for the guy whatsoever, I have no reason to argue against him being the #1 coach in the conference until it's proven that he's no longer that good.  


May 4th, 2012 at 6:27 PM ^

I vote Steve Greenberg the 9th best writer working for Sporting News.  However, he did place #1 in the "who in the hell is this writer" contest.

Victor Hale II

May 4th, 2012 at 6:28 PM ^

I think Pat Fitzgerald is underrated quite a bit.  I like the guy a whole lot, frankly.  He wins fairly consistently, and usually gives even the best teams a good run for their money, in spite of the inherent recruiting limitations of being at NW.  Additionally, I'd think he'd be able to have many more "high profile" offers at HC jobs elsewhere, but he stays true to his alma mater, which I appreciate.


He just seems like an excellent coach and a class act all the way around, from what I can tell.  Am I missing something here with Fitzgerald?


May 4th, 2012 at 6:50 PM ^

Why does every damned thing have to be ranked? It doesn't even make sense. Each of these men faces different obstacles and hurdles.

And each works in a very different environment, in terms of the draw of his school to recruits. A phenomenal coach working at Indiana is not necessarily going to be able to prove all of his strengths -- there. Maybe somewhere else.

All Sporting News really did was look at last year's teams, and then put Urban at the top because he's Urban. I get that, but it must have been a really slow news day.



May 4th, 2012 at 7:46 PM ^

....this is a slow news day:


It doesn't sit well with me that a coach who has spent exactly zero minutes of regulation play coaching in the conference is anyone's #1 best coach in it. However, it also seems like Greenberg is going with the shiniest overall resume, which probably does put Urban at the top then, but then if there is no basis of comparison like conference play (or perhaps more importantly, time spent constantly on the job - Meyer's been out of the loop for a bit), it's an easier list to make, right?

As others have mentioned, I agree that Pat Fitzgerald being seventh is troubling. He squeezes every last ounce out of the Northwestern program, does it with aplomb and gets pretty good results overall. To me, that sort of ability to maximize talent should count for far more than it apparently does.


May 4th, 2012 at 10:36 PM ^

C'mon, OP: I like Brady Hoke as much as anyone else here, but chronological physical growth and experience had a lot more to do with "turning a 7-6 team into an 11-2 team" than Hoke did.  I don't know if RR would have gotten eleven wins out of that team, but I'm pretty sure he would have gotten ten.  

Brady Hoke did a great job last season, but you could stick to facts and make a much better argument for his ability than your hype does.  Besides, the next few years will decide if Hoke is better than the other coaches.  

Urban Meyer does have two National Championships, and is number one until he proves otherwise, but Hoke could certainly be making a case for the second slot within a year or two.    And if Hoke beats Meyer the next two or three years, then he might have a legitimate claim for being a better coach.  

Let Brady Hoke prove his worth on his own; he might surprise you if you are patient.  


May 4th, 2012 at 10:44 PM ^

Really?  With GERG?  Without a decent DC he's not winning any more than he did in his last year.  And what decent DC would have come here with the hot seat that RR was on?


May 4th, 2012 at 11:26 PM ^

If we don't like Urban Meyer coming in here like a Carpetbagger and being ranked #1 without even playing a game, then let's do something about that.  Michigan will get to have a say in this debate.


May 5th, 2012 at 12:22 AM ^

Oh sure, coming from someone who's coach is only the 6th best in the conference!  lol

I know you can't take one so called "sports expert" opinion to seriously, but it was just something I found interesting(the whole list, not just the top 4) and something that could be debated.  Personally I don't have a problem with OT posts, but for those who do, this gave them something to debate.


May 5th, 2012 at 10:10 AM ^

That guy gets very little talent and still manages to be competative year in and year out. We might have had the three-star mafia, but he's got the two-star mafia. Plus all his running backs get smited. Every. Single. Year. 

I'd certainly place him and Fitzgerald above Dantonio and perhaps Bielema as well. And Meyer, until he's coached in the B1G, shoudln't have any place on the list. He shouldn't be first, last, or anywhere in the middle; we just don't have a body of conference work to judge him by yet. That's as absurd as saying that Hoke's record at SDSU and Ball State matter at all   to how he is as a coach in the Big Ten. 


May 5th, 2012 at 11:32 AM ^

So beating a Big Ten team in the NCCG is not doing anything? This argument is retarded.  Right now Meyer is the best coach in the Big Ten.  We wouldn't be having this argument if he was the Michigan coach.