With Big Ten Media Days 2012 come and gone and us collectively ramping up for Ohio State's first ever Friday Night Lights, reporters and media members have spent the last day and a half sitting in press conferences asking the wrong questions.
It’s not their fault -- they’ve been beaten into a repetitive cycle that forces them to inquire about a coaches depth chart or the team’s chemistry. It’s just another sign of the times; the embodiment of journalism’s decline. Instead of providing truly useful content, we’re stuck reading about the development of any of the nine quarterbacks Purdue has on its roster.
The writers at LGHL are dedicated to bucking this trend. We’re not a content farm that feeds you boilerplate articles. We want to challenge our readers. We want to raise the bar.
After exhaustive interviews, LGHL has ranked the B1G coaches by swag. We did this because we weren’t afraid to interrupt a boring presser by asking, "Excuse me coach, but would you say your swag hangs low? Do it wobble to the flo’? Do it shine in the light, etcetera?"
Read the official 2012 B1G Coaches: SWAG Ranking after the jump.
12. Kevin Wilson, Indiana
After just one year of coaching in the Big Ten, Kevin Wilson discovered that Indiana is a place where swag goes to not only die, but set itself on fire in macabre fashion. That alone didn’t land him the bottom spot -- Wilson is the kind of man who spends his free time at the local Barnes & Nobles, not to read, but to offer his suggestions to the casual perusers. His main goal is to bring Indiana football "back" (whatever that means), but just as important to him is his desire to install good intentions back into the world.
Defining swag moment: Piping Sarah McLachlan music through the stadium speakers during a recent football camp.
11. Tim Beckman, Illinois
There’s plenty of time and a whole lot of opportunity for Beckman to climb, but he has spent most of his time since being hired by Illinois purging his office computer of Ron Zook’s mystery novel. Beckman actually finds the story entertaining -- it’s about a man who evades an FBI investigation by starting a new life as a water-skiing instructor in the Bahamas -- but the crazy bastard put each chapter in a different file. Beckman found chapter 12 in Illinois’ Recruiting database, and chapter 23 was hidden in a file named "Casserole Recipes."
Defining swag moment: Almost beating Ohio State while coaching Toledo in 2011. If only he had a few Penn State players on that roster...
10. Bill O'Brien, Penn state
It’s hard to blame O’Brien for a lack of anything right now, but he could’ve helped himself by not looking perpetually sad the entire conference. He asked me if having an apostrophe or two capital letters in his last name counted for anything, but I just looked at him and shook my head because everything in Bill O’Brien’s life right now is sad. =(
Defining swag moment: GIRL FIGHT!!!
9. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
Fitzgerald has all the raw tools to be at the top of these rankings. He’s young, athletic, and attractive in a well-most-coaches-are-built-like-Brady-Hoke-so-that’s-nice kind of way. Things were looking up for him until he spent five minutes explaining the correct use of "who" and "whom" to us. If the 10-12 spots weren’t already sewn up, Fitz would be lower.
Defining swag moment: Turning down the open head coach position at Michigan in 2010 like a freaking boss.
8. Bo Pelini
Unfortunately for Pelini, we’re not ranking coaches by the likeliness of them murdering our parents because he’d have topped that list. We know this because his eyes reflect pure rage, and also because every time I asked him a question, he recited my parents’ address and the five things their most afraid of.
Defining swag moment: At his nephew’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s, he made the fake band made up of mouse robots or whatever play nothing but Nickelback songs for three straight hours. Complain all you want parents, but he taught your children more about life in those three hours than you ever will.
7. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
Some might argue that No. 7 is too generous considering Ferentz is quite literally the most boring person on the planet. Those people haven’t seen his "Call Me, Maybe" parody video that can’t be uploaded to YouTube without violating their way too sexy for viewers policy. He typically doesn’t allow his personality to come out in public, but those close to him say he has a very intense swag -- one that manifests itself in his running backs’ ACL’s before bursting itself out via a combination of pure force and science.
Defining swag moment: Any time his contract gets extended despite years and years of paralyzing mediocrity.
6. Brady Hoke, Michigan
Should be higher, but we watched Urban call him "Grady" like six different times throughout the day and Hoke never corrected him. He either hates confrontation or really likes being called Grady -- either way, his swag took a huge hit.
Defining swag moment: Beating Ohio State’s worst team in 15 years with Michigan’s best team in half a decade. Good job! Good effort!
5. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
After beating an SEC team in a bowl game, which never happens around the B1G even though it happens way more frequently than anyone cares to admit, Dantonio shot up the rankings. It’s not just beating the SEC, it’s how he found a way to do it without allowing Sparty to Spart the bed on national television.-- America’s favorite pastime.
Defining swag moment: Living the last 15 years of his life without smiling. He accidentally did it on Thursday and had to be rushed to the hospital for pulling every muscle in his face.
4. Bret Bielema, Wisconsin
Hearing beforehand that we were putting this list together, Bielema conducted his entire 15 minute presser with NWA’s Straight Outta Compton playing on repeat because that’s what his fourth quarter conversion chart told him to do. We found it tacky but couldn’t deny his preparation and execution, or the fact that he knew every single word to the song and recited it over and over again without taking any questions.
Defining swag moment: The Iowa Hawkeye tattoo isn’t the only one he got that drunken night years ago. He also has a hauntingly accurate depiction of Frodo from Lord of the Rings punching Nicholas Cage in his stupid face... We don’t know why and didn’t ask him either.
3. Danny Hope, Purdue
This high for no other reason but his mustache. The thing is glorious -- it just sits there and nods at everything the coach says. What most people don’t know is that same mustache has been rocked by Hope since the third grade. The kids may have poked fun at his early maturity, but damn it all if he didn’t have their respect.
Defining swag moment: It’s not either of his victories over Ohio State the last three years -- it’s the videos he has taken on his phone in the locker room afterwards that he’s still trying to figure out how to upload. Unfortunately he doesn’t know how to post videos to Facebook.
2. Urban Meyer, Ohio State
Urban isn’t this high because he has the highest winning percentage as a coach in the conference. He isn’t this high because he recruited a better class in three months than Brady Hoke did in 15. He isn’t this high because he made the two other "premier" coaches in the conference butthurt in the span of like seven days. He isn’t this high because he has two more National Championship rings as a head coach than the rest of the conference combined.
Oh wait, yeah he is. Lulz.
Defining swag moment: Making Alex Smith look draftable. Seriously read that last sentence and let it blow your mind all over again.
1. Jerry Kill, Minnesota
Any man who beats a seizure, then comes back and beats an actual college football team on the field seven days later is literally bursting at the seams with swag. If you don’t think Jerry Kill started the #RiseandGrind trend, you are naive and stupid.
Defining swag moment: Every day of his life, man.