Ranking Big Ten coaches for 2019: Jim Harbaugh is No. 1, at least for a year

first_img— Nebraska’s Scott Frost could shoot up the top 25 this year with the high expectations at Nebraska, but we need to see him win some big games, too. The Huskers gave up 30 or more points in eight games last season, and they were 1-7 in those games.— The Big Ten has the most coaches in the top 25 of our rankings, with seven, and 10 coaches in the top 40. That is part of the legacy Meyer leaves behind. The quality of the conference is just better now.— Of the returning coaches, Rutgers’ Chris Ash is the only one who moved more than five spots in either direction in our overall rankings. Ash fell seven spots to No. 90. That means most of the conference has stability. But he hasn’t won anything. Who else would you put No. 1? Mark Dantonio and James Franklin have Big Ten championships. That’s fair, but Harbaugh has evened the series with Dantonio traded blowouts the last three years with Franklin. You can get cute and say Pat Fitzgerald, Paul Chryst, Jeff Brohm or Scott Frost. That does not hold up. Harbaugh is 6-1 against those coaches in Big Ten play.  MORE: Big Ten 2019 early conference primerThis comes down to the fact Meyer is out and Ryan Day is in, and Harbaugh’s albatross it the Ohio State game. He’s 0-4 against the Buckeyes, and that’s why this No. 1 ranking is temporary. If you want to put Day ahead of Harbaugh you can, but that’s a reach considering Day hasn’t felt the pressure of being a head coach in The Game yet. Meyer was 7-0 in that one and beat all those other coaches, too.Can Harbaugh do that now? He still has a lot to prove in Ann Arbor.We can all agree on that. With that in mind, here is a look at our Big Ten coach rankings:2019 Big Ten Coach Rankings  RankNameSchoolWLPCT.OVR1Jim HarbaughMichigan6735.657102Mark DantonioMichigan State12568.648133James FranklinPenn State6936.657144Paul ChrystWisconsin6131.663165Pat FitzgeraldNorthwestern9670.578186Ryan DayOhio State301.000227Kirk FerentzIowa152101.601258Scott FrostNebraska2315.605289Jeff BrohmPurdue4323.6523210P.J. FleckMinnesota4235.5453911Tom AllenIndiana1015.4006712Mike LocksleyMaryland331.0887913Lovie SmithIllinois927.2508814Chris AshRutgers729.19490MORE: SN’s post-spring preseason top 25Quick reads  — Ohio State’s Ryan Day is difficult to rank because we know he can coach. He proved that in the 3-0 stint while Meyer was suspended last season. But to be fair, we have him higher than the last time we faced this predicament. When Lincoln Riley took over for Bob Stoops two years ago, our initial ranking was No. 44. If you want to go higher with Day, then that’s OK by us. Jim Harbaugh is the top coach in the Big Ten heading into 2019.  Everybody OK with that? Sporting News’ annual 1-130 coach rankings were released this week, and our Big Ten rankings were a little tougher at the top after Ohio State coach Urban Meyer retired in the offseason. That was the default setting since 2012. That’s why Harbaugh is No. 1 — at least for 2019.  last_img

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