Big Ten Rankings: Top head football coaches in the conference

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Nov 29, 2014; University Park, PA, USA; Michigan State Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio (left) shakes hands with Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin (right) following the completion of the game at Beaver Stadium. Michigan State defeated Penn State 34-10. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O

When it comes to Big Ten rankings, the first thing that comes to mind is who battles for the No. 1 spot in the conference? Is it Ohio State or Michigan State or will there be a surprise team like Penn State, Minnesota or Nebraska that sneaks in and steals the spotlight in 2015?

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However, those are not the type of rankings we will be looking at as the season is just about two months away. We are in the dog days of summer and what better time is there to look at the top coaches in the conference for the upcoming season?

With much speculation on whether Jim Harbaugh will live up to the hype at Michigan or whether the Buckeyes will repeat as national champs thanks to Urban Meyer’s genius approach to coaching, it seems like the perfect time to rank the coaches in the conference — or at least the top half of the Big Ten.

I won’t be ranking the No. 8 through No. 14 spots at this time because, well, most people like reading about the best and not the worst.

The top two in the conference may be very predictable at this point in time because there are two programs in the conference that have been winning consistently for the past three-plus seasons and the coaches may be ranked accordingly.

Numbers three through seven are a toss-up, however. Some of the guys on the list might be surprising while some of the ones who have been left off, even some Big Ten vets, may spark a heated debate.

Let’s take a look at the ranking, No. 1 through No. 7, of Big Ten football coaches heading into the 2015 season.

Next: 7. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa