Anybody can do power rankings. Anyone and everyone will have some sort of ranking of college football coaches. Simply ranking coaches without much explanation is easy and far too common.

Instead of doing that, we went into detail about the tenures of every B1G coach. We looked at their biggest win, their most embarrassing loss, their top recruiting class and most importantly, why they were ranked where they where. We’ll go in depth with each coach until we get down to No. 1.

With that in mind, let the #B1GCoachRank debate begin:

Coach — No. 8 Kevin Wilson (Indiana)

Record — 20-41 (8-32 in B1G)

Record vs. top 25 — 1-12

Where team was when he was hired — The basement.

Three straight years of last place finishes and three B1G wins, only won of which came on the road. It was actually the last Old Oaken Bucket game of the Bill Lynch era, which Indiana won on a Mitch Ewald field goal in overtime. Understandably so, the dramatic victory like it was celebrated like the Super Bowl.

But while it was a nice moment for the program, it didn’t change the inevitable. Lynch was fired less than 24 hours later, thus repeating the revolving door of Indiana coaches. IU had one bowl berth in the previous 17 years before Wilson took over and was arguably the worst Power Five team in the country.

On top of that, Wilson lost a ton of key skill players to graduation/transfer. Needless to say, Wilson faced a steep hill to climb in Bloomington.

Biggest win — Nov. 28, 2015 at Purdue

I know, I know. Beating eventual SEC East champ Missouri was Wilson’s most impressive win. But let’s be honest. He would’ve been out of a job if he didn’t win the Bucket Game to clinch bowl eligibility.

Does it matter that Purdue was in the midst of a two-win season? Not at all. Wilson was facing a do-or-die scenario. Keep in mind that he only had two B1G road wins to that point, one of which came the week before against Maryland. IU had to get over that hurdle and it had to get to its first bowl in eight years. That would show the progress Wilson had been preaching.

If IU had lost that game to Purdue — the Hoosiers did win comfortably — look at Kevin Wilson’s résumé compared to Darrell Hazell’s:

Overall win percentage .194 .331
B1G win percentage .125 .175
B1G road win percentage .083 .100
Bowl berths 0 0
Last-place finishes 3 2

Without a bowl berth, Fred Glass would’ve had no choice but to fire Wilson, who had one year left on his deal. But instead, he got an extension that kept him under contract longer than any B1G coach other than Jim Harbaugh.

So yeah, that was definitely his biggest win.

Most embarrassing loss — Sept. 24, 2011 vs. North Texas

Wilson was still getting his feet wet in his third game as coach. Losing to Ball State to open the season at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis was embarrassing. But IU had lost to their in-state foe before, so that wasn’t earth-shattering. The fourth-quarter collapse to Rutgers in 2015 was brutal, but at least that was a B1G team.

North Texas was a new low.

The Mean Green — one of the better nicknames in the country — was coming off a three-win season. Before its date with IU, North Texas had lost all three games and allowed 40-plus points each time. That made it that much more embarrassing when the Hoosiers found themselves sitting on a goose egg going into the fourth quarter. If not for a late rally and a touchdown in the final minute, IU would’ve lost by double digits to a team that won five games in the Sun Belt Conference that year.

It was a game that IU should’ve never put on the schedule. Luckily for the Hoosiers, it was only available on the then-much smaller ESPN3.

But we’ll never forget.


Best recruiting class — 2013

IU rarely gets four-star (football) recruits to come to Bloomington. When Wilson landed four, it was a big deal. It actually marked the first time IU landed a four-star recruit (247sports) since 2000. Even better, the class was headlined by three Indiana products.

Unfortunately, those players didn’t live up to expectations.

Tallahassee wideout Taj Williams never played at Indiana because he couldn’t qualify academically. Pike (IN) defensive end David Kenney transferred to Illinois State after one season. Ben Davis (IN) star Antonio Allen was IU’s first Army All-American Bowl recruit ever, but his career was cut short after he was arrested for two felony drug charges.

North Central (IN) lineman Darius Latham had the best career of all of them, but he was suspended twice as a junior for a violation of team rules. He then left Indiana for the NFL after three years only to go undrafted.

Fortunately, Wilson’s other 2013 signees picked up the slack.

Rashard Fant developed into IU’s top cornerback while Chase Dutra has been solid when healthy at safety. T.J. Simmons is the best player on IU’s front six (new defensive coordinator Tom Allen runs a 4-2-5) and Wilson nabbed the B1G’s best kicker in Griffin Oakes.

You can debate whether a recruiting class should be judged on signing day or four years later, but either way, the 2013 group was the one Wilson will get the most credit for.

What could get him fired — A national scandal or a winless season. Maybe both.

Glass made an aggressive move this offseason by giving Wilson a new six-year deal and doubling his pay.  For him to eat a deal like that would be the result of a complete disaster. But if Baylor, Rutgers and USC taught us anything in the past year, it’s that a coach can shoot himself in the foot in a variety of ways.

Having said that, it’s unlikely Wilson will fall into that category. I actually think there might only be few coaches in the B1G who have more job security than Wilson. He could get away with a three-win season and know that his job is safe for 2017. How many other Power Five coaches can say that?


Why he’s at No. 8 — There’s a reason that I examine where a team is when a coach takes over. That’s important. Wilson’s first season was a disaster. A 1-11 mark was historically bad, even at Indiana. The program lacked any sort of positive identity. Many people thought — and still think — of Indiana as a basketball school with a football team.

But at the very least, Wilson started to shift that narrative in 2015.

Getting Indiana to a bowl game was a significant achievement. Wilson became the fifth person on earth to accomplish that feat. Will people remember that IU’s wins came against teams with a combined 28-45 record? Probably not.

Wilson finally got over the postseason hump, and it could’ve been an even better season. IU was within a touchdown in the final five minutes against Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. And fittingly, the Pinstripe Bowl ended in gut-wrenching fashion for IU.

IU still lacks consistency for Wilson to be in the top half of the conference’s coaches. He could easily dip back into the double digits with another four-win season.

The 2016 season will say a lot about his system now that Nate Sudfeld and Jordan Howard are gone. The 2015 group set just about every one of the program’s offensive records while the defense lagged behind. If Wilson is going to lead IU to its first consecutive bowl berth since 1991, the defense has to improve. But if that happens, he — and IU — will continue to climb out of the B1G basement.


No. 14 Darrell Hazell

No. 13 Chris Ash

No. 12 Lovie Smith

No. 11 D.J. Durkin

No. 10 Tracy Claeys

No. 9 Mike Riley

No. 8 Kevin Wilson

No. 7 — TBA