The Dodd Trophy, has a distinctly Big Ten flavor to it this year, with three of the five finalists possessing strong ties to the conference. Two of the Dodd Trophy finalists are currently head coaches in the Big Ten.

Indiana’s Tom Allen and Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald are among the five finalists for the award. In addition, Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell, a former defensive coordinator (and interim head coach) at Ohio State is up for the honor.

The award, for those not familiar with it, honors a head coach for success and standards on and off the field:

Named for legendary Georgia Tech coach Bobby Dodd, The Dodd Trophy was established in 1976 to honor the FBS football coach whose program represents three pillars of success: Scholarship, Leadership and Integrity. The award honors the coach of a team with a successful season on the field and equally as important, stresses the importance of academic excellence and desire to give back to the community.

In taking Indiana to a 6-1 record and a No. 7 ranking in the AP Top 25 Poll, Allen has transformed a program that was a laughingstock and built the Hoosiers into a side that beat three ranked teams this year. Fitzgerald turned around the Wildcats after a dour 2019, leading his team to the Big Ten Championship Game where they had a 10-6 lead on Ohio State at halftime.

The winner will be announced during the week leading up to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.