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 went in depth with each coach until we got down to No. 1.

So without fourth ado…

Coach — No. 1 Urban Meyer (Ohio State)

Record — 50-4 (31-1 in B1G)

Record vs. top 25 — 11-3

Where team was when he was hired — It’s easy to forget that less than five years ago, Ohio State was in need of a massive overhaul. The stench of Tattoogate still lingered with the Buckeyes coming off their worst season since 1988. The B1G lacked a prominent coach after both Jim Tressel and Joe Paterno left the conference in 2011.

The Meyer hire changed all of that.

Getting a coach with two national titles under his belt — an Ohio native, too — was an obvious victory. Some questioned whether or not Meyer would be up for the demands of Ohio State after he left Florida and took a one-year break from coaching because of health concerns. After all, the Buckeyes weren’t exactly a turn-key program at the time. Meyer still had to deal with the one-year postseason ban that the Buckeyes faced in his first season.

Sure, he had talent. Braxton Miller a budding star entering his sophomore season and Carlos Hyde was an emerging lead back. But it was still a six-win team that lost its final four games. Meyer was tasked with motivating a team that wouldn’t be playing for anything more than pride in 2012.

To his credit, he did that, and it happened sooner than anyone could’ve imagined.

Biggest win — College Football Playoff National Championship: Jan. 12, 2015 vs. Oregon

Just over three years after Meyer was hired, he shocked the world.

The Buckeyes weren’t supposed to have a chance when Braxton Miller went down. Remember that, Clay Travis?

Pretty much everyone outside of Ohio erased the Buckeyes from College Football Playoff contention after the Virginia Tech loss (we’ll get to that). Few gave the Buckeyes any hope of taking down mighty Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, especially with a third-string quarterback. And surprisingly, not many people had the Buckeyes knocking off Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota’s Oregon squad for a national title.

Against all odds, they did just that.

If there was any doubt that Meyer was still one of the top coaches in the country, he answered that in the Oregon game. The Buckeyes spread out the up-tempo Ducks and lit them up for 538 yards of offense, almost half of which came from Ezekiel Elliott. The 22-point victory completed the Buckeyes’ improbable run to a title.

Meyer and Tom Herman got a ton of credit for drawing up offensive gameplans that dominated some of the top coaches and defensive players in the country. Even at a place like Ohio State, where national titles are the standard, 2015 was special. Nationally, some will argue that the 2002 BCS National Championship — the last time the B1G won it all — shouldn’t have happened.

There was no denying it this time. The Buckeyes earned it in convincing fashion. Meyer pulled off a quick three-year turnaround, to say the least. The mid-season turnaround he pulled off might’ve been even more impressive.


Most embarrassing loss — Sept. 6, 2014 vs. Virginia Tech

In Meyer’s third year, it appeared he had the Buckeyes out of the woods. They were back in the top 10 to start the season and were the preseason favorites to win the B1G title.

Then Virginia Tech happened.

The Buckeyes laid an egg against a middle-of-the-pack ACC team in front of the largest crowd ever at Ohio State. The primetime tilt was a disastrous showing for Meyer’s young offense, especially J.T. Barrett. The game plan didn’t help Barrett, who completed only nine of his 29 passes. For whatever reason, Meyer gave Barrett three times as many carries as Elliott, too.

It was one of the few times in Meyer’s career that he was out-coached. He admitted that Frank Beamer threw things at them that they weren’t prepared to handle.

Even worse for the Buckeyes, there was national speculation that it ended their chance at a College Football Playoff berth. Everyone also pronounced Michigan State dead that day after it lost at Oregon, which made it the day of death for the B1G. Little did people realize that a one-loss team could still run the table and make the field.

As it turned out, that loss was the best thing that could’ve happened to OSU.

Best recruiting class — 2013

I mean, where do you start? Meyer’s 2013 group was arguably the B1G’s top class in the recruiting rankings era. There were stars from top to bottom.

The top four-rated recruits alone accomplished more than most coaches get in an entire class:

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 3.43.02 PM

But don’t forget that Ezekiel Elliott was part of that group. Barrett was also in there, as was Gareon Conley and Billy Price. Oh, and Darron Lee was a three-star recruit without a position.

So to recap, Meyer already won a title and had five guys drafted from that 2013 class, all of which were selected in the first two rounds. In total, six players declared for the draft after three seasons. That doesn’t even happen at Alabama. The amazing thing is that 2013 group still has several key pieces left. They figure to win a bunch of games and get drafted next year.

You can bet Meyer has talked about his 2013 class repeatedly to recruits all over the country. He maximized talent of blue-chip recruits like Bosa and Elliott, and he also helped three-star guys like Lee become stars and first-round draft picks. It will always be one of Meyer’s crowning achievements.

People make such a big deal about recruiting because of groups like OSU’s in 2013. One class really can change the identity of a program. It certainly did in Columbus.


What could get him fired — Tattoogate Part II. Too soon?

Why he’s at No. 1 — There wasn’t a debate for No. 1 on this list. Considering Mark Dantonio is the only B1G coach with a victory against Meyer at Ohio State, you can’t make much of a case for anyone else. And for all the recruiting hype Jim Harbaugh generated, he still hasn’t had a higher-rated class than Meyer yet. By the way, the Buckeyes have the clear No. 1 2017 class right now, which would mark the first time the B1G accomplished such a feat.

Here are just a few other of Meyer’s career accomplishments that no B1G coach can compete with:

  • 154-27 overall record (91-9 in conference)
  • 31-13 vs. top 25
  • Nine division titles or conference titles
  • Zero sub-.500 conference records
  • Seven BCS/College Football Playoff appearances
  • 9-2 in bowl games
  • Seven top-five finishes
  • Three national titles

Can Dantonio or Harbaugh get to that level? Sure, but that would take several years of not only beating Meyer, but everyone else.

Speaking of beating everyone else, how close is Meyer to Nick Saban? At this time a year ago, you could’ve made a legitimate argument that Meyer was the top coach in the country. Saban held the national title advantage at 4-3, but Meyer had just knocked off Saban and was the overwhelming favorite to even the score.

Now, of course, Saban has another national title and a little more distance between he and Meyer. It wouldn’t be surprising if the two remained the standard for college football coaches for the next decade.  Until somebody else can consistently beat him, Meyer is the standard in the B1G. If he keeps up his current pace, Meyer is going to be on the short list of best B1G coaches ever.

In fact, ESPN just ranked the top coaches in B1G history and Bo Schembechler was No. 1. Here’s how Meyer compared to him after their first four seasons in the conference:

Win percentage .926 .703
B1G win percentage .969 .642
Top-25 win percentage .786 .778
Conference titles 1 1
National titles 1 1

To recap, Saban and Hayes that are the two guys Meyer will be compared to as long as he keeps winning in Columbus. Right now, he still has a significant leg up on Dantonio and Harbaugh. Did Dantonio out-coach him last year? Sure. Could one or both of them out-coach Meyer this year? Definitely.

But until either of them can start beating him en route to a couple national titles, Meyer is the undisputed No. 1 B1G coach.


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 Paul Chryst

No. 6 James Franklin

No. 5 Pat Fitzgerald

No. 4 Kirk Ferentz

No. 3 Jim Harbaugh

No. 2 Mark Dantonio

No. 1 Urban Meyer