Where’s Michigan State listed in ESPN’s ‘Sales Pitch’ coaching gig rankings?

·1 min read
Where’s Michigan State listed in ESPN’s ‘Sales Pitch’ coaching gig rankings?

What are the best coaching gigs in the Big Ten? That’s the question ESPN’s Jeff Borzello is asking coaches across the country.

Borzello is leading ESPN’s new “Sales Pitch” series (subscription required) that is breaking down the top coaching gigs in each conference and ranking them by tiers. This series is primarily focused on which programs offer the best sales pitch to recruits and transfers, and ultimately have the most to give to the top players in the country.

So where do the Spartans land in the Big Ten? Are they in the top tier?

Here’s where the coaches rank each of the Big Ten gigs with a short breakdown of each tier:

Tier 5

Harrison Barden/USA TODAY Sports

Schools:

  • Northwestern

  • Penn State

  • Rutgers

From ESPN: While there was much debate about each of the first four tiers, the bottom tier was clear. "Those three separate themselves more than any tier in the league," one coach noted. Read More

Tier 4

Patrick Gorski/USA TODAY Sports

Schools:

  • Nebraska

From ESPN: One Big Ten coach summed up Nebraska's dichotomy effectively: "They're in the bottom tier when it comes to history and tradition. They're in the top tier when it comes to facilities and resources." Read More

Tier 3

Nikos Frazier/Journal & Courier

Schools:

  • Illinois

  • Iowa

  • Minnesota

  • Purdue

  • Wisconsin

From ESPN: This is the biggest tier in the rankings, but one could split it up after Purdue and Illinois or drop Iowa down a tier to make it more manageable. Overall, though, this was the consensus middle group in the league. Read More

Tier 2

Robert Scheer/IndyStar via USA TODAY Sports

Schools:

  • Maryland

From ESPN: It's a one-team tier -- and a program that earned a pair of rankings within the top tier. Maryland was actually the last Big Ten program to win a national championship, back in 2002, when the Terrapins were still in the ACC. Since joining the Big Ten, they've been to five of six NCAA tournaments and earned a share of the regular-season title in 2020. Read More

Tier 1

Mike Carter/USA TODAY Sports

Schools:

  • Michigan State

  • Indiana

  • Michigan

  • Ohio State

From ESPN: The top of the Big Ten generated plenty of debate and discussion -- and it also resulted in what will likely be the largest Tier 1 of any conference in this series. Within the top tier, the order varied greatly. Some coaches said Indiana and Michigan State were clearly at the top, others said Michigan and Ohio State were in a tier of their own. There's a fifth team we will get to shortly that also earned plenty of recognition as a possible top-tier recruiting program. Read More

My Tiers

Steven Branscombe/USA TODAY Sports

For the most part, I agree with the coaches in ranking these Big Ten coaching gigs. However, I'm a little higher on a few schools (Wisconsin, Purdue, Rutgers and Northwestern) than the coaches, and have Nebraska lower than the coaches. Here's my breakdown of the five tiers: Tier 1:

  • Michigan State

  • Indiana

  • Michigan

  • Ohio State

Tier 2:

  • Purdue

  • Maryland

  • Wisconsin

Tier 3:

  • Illinois

  • Iowa

  • Minnesota

Tier 4:

  • Northwestern

  • Rutgers

Tier 5:

  • Nebraska

  • Penn State

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