Rivals/SI was not very nice

Kirk Ferentz is the best coach in the Big Ten. The man with the most wins in college football history, Joe Paterno, is No. 4.

And Indiana’s Bill Lynch? He’s in the basement.

So says Tom Dienhart, a senior Rivals.com writer in a ranking of all 11 Big Ten football coaches for SI.com.

I am always very dubious of such lists, believing that far too much credit is given to recent success and not enough to longevity and the overall strength of the program.

But Dienhart does a pretty good job. Michigan’s Rich Rodriguez is second, after a season in which many a pundit would find it tempting to place him in the bottom half.

I do think Jim Tressell got a bit of a raw deal. Granted, his teams struggle in the bowl games but he takes new talent each and every year and gets the Buckeyes to where they want to do. Also, you have to respect a man with enough courage to wear a sweater vest.

As for Lynch, Dienhart gives credit to his coaching experience, but also notes his lack of success at previous stops.

But here’s the question for you — a year ago, after a bowl appearance, where would you have ranked Lynch?


  1. Woo Hoo Football!

    Lynch is right where he belongs. The bottom of the list. You could rank all coaches, in all conferences, in all divisions, and he would still be at the bottom… IMO of course.

  2. After the bowl game I would have put Lynch in the bottom three. I mean the guy took a team with good talent, i.e. Hardy and a great schedule, no OSU or UM, and went to a bowl but could no capitalize on the momentum last year. Obviously this is the win or fired year for him so hopefully the pistol works out. Here’s my list:
    1. Paterno
    2. Tressel
    3. Ferentz
    4. Dantonio
    5. Rodriguez
    6. Zook
    7. Bielema
    8. Webster
    9. Fitzgerald
    10. Lynch
    11. Hope

  3. for holding the team together for the bowl I would not have put him at 11 but right now he is 11 for sure!!! He is farther down now too because of making NO coaching changes under him!

  4. Hoosierboy, I like your list.

    Apparently Tom Dienhart is punishing coaches like Tressel for winning while Iowa went through a 3-year slump? curious, most people don’t point to ‘slumps’ as the mark of a great coach. putting Ferentz #1 because he’s “handled adversity” means Lynch is one successful season from the top spot!

  5. Ferentz at the top is just plain stupid. He is just as inconsistent as guys like Zook. My list would go:

    The top guys
    1. Tressel
    2. Paterno

    Unproven at B10 school, but rated highly based on past success
    3. Rodriguez
    4. Dantonio

    Middle of the pack
    5. Ferentz
    6. Zook
    7. Fitzgerald
    8. Bielema
    9. Brewster

    Clearly the bottom
    10. Lynch

    Hope is too soon to tell.

    I really think guys 5-9 are pretty interchangeable — none are awful coaches, but none of them are going to turn their programs into another Ohio State (or do for them what Barry Alvarez did at Wisconsin). Rodriguez is the only one outside of the top 2 who I think has a realistic shot at a national title someday.

  6. Of course they got Lynch right. Why is this even a surprise?

  7. What about the assistant coaches at the other schools. Wouldn’t #23 or #24 be more appropriate?

  8. Honestly, and this hurts to say as a hoosier fan, but Lynch is the only one right now that you can say should not be a big ten head coach. The rest have either won in conference, somewhere else=RR, or the fan base has hope, no pun for Purdue b/c they don’t sound too excited about Hope. We need a guy like Ferentz but without the off field problems, i.e. drunk son. Maybe Lynch can turn it around this year, or probably not. Either way, gotta support the team.

  9. Why are we even discussing it? Lynch should be removed immediately and watch all the high end college coaches line up for the best job in college sports….

  10. During the 2007 campaign Lynch would be squarely at the bottom of my list.

    He deserves some credit for the unbelievable situation he was in and he he conducted himself.

    Wins against ISU, W. Michigan, Akron and BSU out of conference was and should have been expected.

    A win against a very bad Minnesota team was no surprise, neither was a win against a mediocre Iowa team, remember just 1 year prior we upset a ranked Iowa team.

    Beating Purdue was a bright spot, cause it was beating Purdue. However, Purdue was a mediocre team, and the lack of half time adjustments (that carried over to 2009) first became very evident in that game.

    I actually think our best game was played in a close loss to Penn State at home.

    Losing to Illinois at home was bad. I know Illinois went to the Rose Bowl, but lets not forget that we had beat them the previous 2 years with the same team. Getting absolutely spanked by Michigan State (who we spanked the year prior) and crushed by Wisconsin was horrible for us.

    Then comes the debacle that was the Insight Bowl. Completely unprepared, no adjustments being made to counter what they OSU done.

    The 2nd half of the Purdue game and the Insight Bowl set the tone (though we didn’t know at that time) for the 2008 season.

    Lynch will be at #11 next year, if he is still a Big Ten coach next year.

  11. Interesting. Although I wonder why in the blog he didn’t mention Lynch’s 36-12 record at Butler. Also I would say anytime a blogger does a ranking of BIG 10 schools they will put Indiana at the bottom because of the lack of success they generally have. The did this after 2007 season he is probably ranked 6-8… It just doesnt make since to rank coaches.

  12. No surprise after last year. Hopefully things will be better this year. I like what I’m seeing with the pistol.

  13. I think they have Lynch rated too high. I’m sure you could find many assistants in the leaugue that are better than Lynch.

  14. Is Aruss looking at his list upside-down?

    BL is a good assistant coach trying to run a bigten program.

    Not much success so far, and the natives are getting very restless.

  15. There’s no doubt he’s the worst in the Big Ten. Hope at least had success at Eastern Kentucky. Lynch was 37-53 at Ball State. It’s amazing how people thought 2007 was a success. We beat no one. Every decent team we faced we got stomped against.

    Then this year, the schedule catches up to us and we’re exposed for the below-average team that we were in 2007. I can’t imagine we’ll get more than 5 wins this upcoming season.

    Paterno does nothing. He’s nothing more than an icon. He calls no plays, he doesn’t scream at players, and half the time he’s in the press box just watching. He’s worthless and putting him at #1 or #2 is laughable.

  16. So, since Paterno is old, none of his prior successes(Leading coach in wins up to now) mean anything, and he is just a useless figurehead. That’s baffling to me. The guy may not do as much because he is friggin 83, and has had multiple surgeries. Have some respect sir. Why do you think his assistant coaches do well, because HE TEACHES THEM.

    He is in my mine a top 5 coach in the nation, and the best in the Big Ten. Coaching is not just about recruiting, how many championships has Rich or Tressel won?

  17. At least Hope was successful at EKU. Again that is why I ask why no one talks about Lynch’s record at Butler. Now, I’m not saying he is Joe Paterno, but he isn’t a bad coach. A good one in fact in my opinion. Besides 2 awful years at BSU in the middle of his Tenure. .500 in the MAC is not all that bad!

  18. “.500 in the MAC is not all that bad! – M. Jones

    All you inspire IU to be is a .500 football team?

    I don’t want a coach who is a .500 coach in ANY conference, much less the MAC.

    I want a coach who can compete for conference titles. 4-4 in the Big Ten is a step forward for this program, but should not be an acceptable record!

  19. The reason no one brings up the Butler record is because it’s pretty much irrelevant. The only coach I know of that has another divisions record mentioned is Tressel and that’s because he won 4 championships. Lynch was/would be a good coach at a place like Butler but he is not a Big Ten coach. I hope he proves everyone, including myself wrong this year, but I don’t think he will.

  20. Recruiting isn’t important? Recruiting is the entire reason why teams like Illinois make the Rose Bowl, and why IU is at the bottom of the Big Ten every year.

  21. Keep in mind that Dienhart is a Purdue guy, and he will always put the worst spin possible on anything related to IU. He left out the Butler record because it didn’t fit his point or because he was too lazy to look it up. His logic here is less than impressive. I don’t see how Ferentz and Rod can be ranked ahead of Tressel or even Paterno. As others have pointed out, that “adversity” argument is bunk. Response to adversity may reveal character, but avoiding adversity, like Jim Tressel has, strikes me as a better measure of coaching ability. Further, if he’s so impressed by response to adversity, how about Paterno? His program was in the crapper just a few years ago, but Penn State has now won the Big Ten twice in the last four years. That’s more impressive than Ferentz’s 9-4 record in 2008 (not to mention that Paterno has coached undefeated teams and won a national championship and won more games than anyone else).

    It’s also hard to explain Fitzgerald’s placement behind Bielema. Fitz has improved every year, while Brett has done the opposite.

  22. My point about being .500 in the MAC is that it is hard for a MAC team to be great every year. Schedules are tough for them, and there is never a consistent winner. Look at the schools Year in and Year out. The conference goes through major cycles. There is no OSU or Michigan.. Pretty much a MAC team is great when they have a great QB.. Miami with Big Ben.. BSU recently.. Bowling Green had a great QB.. Those teams have all fallen off( BG Miami) Toledo used to be great… And yes I would love for Indiana to be a .500 big ten team consistently… Then an occasional run for a title. Who woulnd’t? Got to get there first. IU has lost for 100 years… Its not all coaching!

    Go Hoosiers!

  23. IU has not lost for 100 years, especially under Mallory. Long time ago but my dad still talks about his trip to Pasadena! NO more blanket statements!!! By the way, it has been coaching for a while now…

  24. Coach Mallory is a great coach! No question, but that is my point. Even he had a losing record at Indiana. one rose bowl in 1967. Consistently Indiana has lost for 100 years actually probably more.. They have something like 25 winning seasons all time. I think Big Ten Network said that at some point. So it has been all bad coaching since 1994 or 96 when we fired Mallory for only god knows why? So then we don’t count 2007 because it was a poorly coached Team? I know this Coach Mallory heavily endorses Lynch.. Why don’t we all? It takes time for an Indiana to win consistently. Hopefully they will! I am pulling for them… Here’s to a Great 2009!

    GO Hoosiers!

  25. OK you are talking about records. I feel like winning is getting to a bowl and Mallory did that more than once…and won. Jones, just look simply at first half points compared to second half last year. Either Lynch gets outcoached or makes NO halftime adjustments. Also, let’s be real. If you are a football fan and you watched that mess last year and know the least little bit about football…it was the coaching staff. With that said, I wish Lynch all of the luck in the world and am pulling for him and if he can get 6 or 7 wins this year, I might LOVE him but until then, the jury is out!

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