– I didn’t think they’d be a top 10 team in three years. I’m hearing, this morning, do you know that Brady Hoke and Harbaugh, after 31 games, almost had identical records?
Stop! Brady Hoke was in the Big 10. At one point, Luke Fickell was coaching Ohio State. 77-year-old Joe Pa was covering Penn State.
By the way, do you realize that Wisconsin– Jim Harbaugh just entered the Big 10 at the toughest time in 30 years. Wisconsin now is a top 10 program. The last time Wisconsin faced Auburn, they beat them. Last time Wisconsin faced LSU, they beat them. Last time they faced USC, they beat him. Wisconsin has, maybe outside of Bama, the best coaching staff right now in the country.
Brady Hoke faced Gary Anderson at Wisconsin. Harbaugh’s facing this coaching staff at Wisconsin. Brady Hoke faced 75-year-old Joe Pa. Harbaugh’s facing relentless recruiting wizard James Franklin, who even won at Vanderbilt.
Brady Hoke’s first year was his best year, he was 11 and 2. Luke Fickell coached Ohio State. He got fired. They brought in Urban Meyer.
Do you know what Brady Hoke did the next three years? Eight wins, seven wins, five wins. Could not touch Urban Meyer. The Big 10 is loaded in coaching; Kurt Ferentz, Urban Meyer, James Franklin, Mark Dantonio, Harbaugh, Pat Fitzgerald, Paul Chris, Lovie Smith.
Who’s the second best SEC coach right now? Who is it? They don’t have one. It’s Saban and guys you wish you could buy out their contract, but it’s too expensive. Harbaugh entered this conference in a full up swing. It is easily– I’ve been saying this for two years– the Big 10 coaching, right now, is the best I’ve ever seen in a major conference.
I mean, people are banging on Mike Reilly. Mike Reilly’s not a bad football coach. He’s in Nebraska, it’s 2017, it’s hard to get players. Pete Carroll dominated the Pac 10 for years, right? That’s because Jeff Tedford was the only other big time coach in the conference. The minute Jim Harbaugh showed up and chip Kelly showed up, Pete Carroll started losing games at home, as a 40 point favorite to Harbaugh.
Right now, Nick Saban’s a great coach, but if you put eight other great coaches in there, he’d be losing twice a year. Put Dabo Swinney in the SEC. They’re not going to be so– put Mark Richt– Mark Richt was given– Saban pushed back– Les Miles was beating Nick occasionally. Ed Orgeron’s not beating Nick Saban.
Jim Harbaugh entered the conference going into its zenith. This is as good as the Big 10 has been in years, over a decade. It’s hard to win in the Big 10 now. Nobody is going undefeated.