It doesn't appear that too many Big Ten teams are going to light the college hoops world on fire this season. However, more than likely this will only be a temporary slump. With the level of coaching talent roaming the sidelines in the league, its teams are sure to be competing for national championships again sooner rather than later.
1) Tom Izzo - Michigan State
Tom Izzo is untouchable at the top of this list. Why? A national championship, four trips to the Final Four, four regular-season Big Ten titles, four National Coach of the Year awards. That's why.
2) Thad Matta - Ohio State
The trip to the 2007 title game was nice, but Thad Matta has built the Buckeyes program into more than just a one-year powerhouse. A serious bidder for all the top recruits in the country every year, Matta has also led the squad to 37 conference wins over the past three years, second best over this period behind Wisconsin.
3) Bo Ryan - Wisconsin
Speaking of the Badgers, Bo Ryan has led Wisconsin to a conference best 38 wins over the past three seasons. Despite always being overlooked and underrated, Ryan's squads get the job down year in, year out.
4) Tubby Smith - Minnesota
The much-maligned Tubby Smith has done nothing but win at every stop he has made in his coaching career. Minnesota shouldn't be any different.
5) Bruce Weber - Illinois
A few years back Bruce Weber probably could have given Izzo a tough run for his money for top spot on this list. However, his program has been in a steady decline since its 2005 peak.
6) Tom Crean - Indiana
It's going to take awhile to fix the mess Tom Crean inherited, but if he could recruit and win big time at Marquette, doing the same at Indiana shouldn't be a problem.
7) Matt Painter - Purdue
Matt Painter definitely has the Boilermakers back at the level the program was used to under his mentor Gene Keady. They should be at or near the top of the Big Ten at season's end and are poised to make some noise in the NCAA tournament.
8) John Beilein - Michigan
John Beilein is another coach who inherited a mess of a program. It'll probably take a few more years before he gets the Blue up to the level of success he enjoyed at West Virginia.
9) Todd Lickliter - Iowa
Todd Lickliter proved he could win big at a small-time school (Butler). Can he win in the Big Bad Big Ten though?
10) Ed DeChellis - Penn State
After posting seven conference wins last season, maybe Ed DeChellis has Penn State headed in the right direction.
11) Bill Carmody - Northwestern
The Wildcats won one conference game last season and two the year before. Enough said.