Big Ten coaches not faring so well against big opponents

Big Ten coaches not faring so well against big opponents
August 20, 2014, 10:45 am
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Vinnie Duber

When it comes to winning big games against big opponents, the Big Ten's head coaches aren't doing so hot.

The Wall Street Journal put together a list of every Power 5 coach's record all-time against teams ranked in the AP top 25, and the numbers don't look pretty for current Big Ten coaches. Just one has a winning record with his current team.

The one guy boosting the Big Ten's record in big games rather than bringing it down is Ohio State's Urban Meyer, who is 5-2 in games against top-25 teams while with the Buckeyes (that's the past two seasons).

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Everyone else, though, has a losing mark. While with their current teams, Illinois' Tim Beckman is 0-5, Indiana's Kevin Wilson is 0-6, Iowa's Kirk Ferentz is 19-34, Maryland's Randy Edsall is 0-8, Michigan's Brady Hoke is 3-7, Michigan State's Mark Dantonio is 10-18, Minnesota's Jerry Kill is 1-9, Nebraska's Bo Pelini is 9-14, Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald is 5-15, Purdue's Darrell Hazell is 0-3, Rutgers' Kyle Flood is 0-3 and Wisconsin's Gary Andersen is 1-2. Penn State's James Franklin hasn't coached a game with the Nittany Lions yet, but his record in these games while at Vanderbilt wasn't good, just 1-8.

Altogether, including Meyer's winning record, Big Ten coaches have a 53-126 record in games against top-25 teams while at their current schools.

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To be fair, most head coaches in Power 5 conferences have unpleasant records against top-25 competition. Of the 65 coaches on the list, only eight have records above .500 at their current school: Alabama's Nick Saban (28-12), Auburn's Gus Malzahn (5-2), Florida State's Jimbo Fisher (9-5), Georgia's Mark Richt (34-31), LSU's Les Miles (37-19), Meyer (5-2), Oklahoma's Bob Stoops (50-23) and Stanford's David Shaw (14-4).

So while comparatively, the Big Ten is about right in line with everyone else, this is just another thing that won't aid the Big Ten in the battle for conference supremacy.