Can't Wait For Saturday | Best Big Ten coaches? Bo, Woody deserve to make the list

Apr. 2—***

I am always quick to praise for its excellent stories, like the recent at-home piece with Nick Saban.

Time to give The Athletic the same consideration. One of the few Web sites I subscribe to, along with IlliniHQ and ESPN, The Athletic nailed it with a recent story listing the authors' choices for their college football coaching Mount Rushmore. Saban appeared on the lists and the others were a mix of different guys.

I'm going to offer an alternative: the Big Ten football coach Mount Rushmore.. This ought to give us plenty to write about.

One rule: it includes the 18 teams that will be playing in the Big Ten starting in 2024. That adds a lot of great candidates to my list.

A personal choice: I am leaving out Penn State coach Joe Paterno, who saw his legacy altered forever by the Jerry Sandusky scandal. I have written before how much I thought of Paterno. Until the story broke. Too much there to overlook.

And I'm not going to try to put them in order. Other than alphabetical. It's my list and you have the right to disagree and make fun of me for it.

Here goes:

Woody Hayes Ohio State

Sure, it ended badly, with the legend punching a Clemson player in the Gator Bowl. He shouldn't have done it and paid for it with his job.

Hayes was a brilliant coach with a stellar record. Being part of the best rivalry in sports helps his case too.

There are others at Ohio State worth considering, including Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer for sure. Maybe Ryan Day down the road.

John McKay Southern California

Someday, Lincoln Riley can move into this spot. If he stays with the Trojans long enough.

McKay coached 16 seasons in Los Angeles, winning 127 games. He was especially good in bowls, going 6-3. There are other worthy candidates for Troy: Howard Jones, John Robinson and Pete Carroll. But McKay is the choice.

Tom Osborne Nebraska

He was part of five national championships in Lincoln, two as an assistant to the great Bob Devaney and three as the big boss. He was close to winning four or five more. He was at the school for most of the record 35 consecutive bowl games. An offensive genius, Osborne also developed standout defenders.

Bo Schembechler Michigan

Sorry, Illinois fans, I know this one won't go over well. In 21 seasons at the Ann Arbor school. Schembechler won or shared 13 Big Ten titles. The current national champs were built on top of the foundation laid by Schembechler.

Let the disagreements begin. Email me at . Please include your name and hometown.