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Grading Every Big 10 Football Coach’s Job Security

Grading Every Big 10 Football Coach's Job Security

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Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Job security is difficult to come by these days in college football because immediate results are almost always expected. "Rebuilding" for more than a season just won't cut it. So with the 2014 season quickly approaching, I'm going up and down the list to hand every Big 10 coach a job security grade.

Bo Pelini - Nebraska

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Bo Pelini - Nebraska

bo pelini nebraska
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Bo Pelini's name was a popular one being tossed around about this time last season when talking about job security, because there were many who believed he was sitting on a hot seat at Nebraska. But after a strong finish to last season and a good 2014 recruiting class, he's trending in the right direction. But his Cornhuskers are only 9-14 against Top 25 teams, and his infamous "If they want to fire me, go ahead" rant still lingers.

Grade: B-

Brady Hoke - Michigan

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Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Brady Hoke - Michigan

brady hoke michigan
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon heroically came to the rescue of Brady Hoke after a rather disappointing end to last season, saying anyone going against Hoke's job was "ill-informed." You love that support from your boss, but does it carry over to this season? Hoke made some necessary moves this offseason to improve his staff, including firing offensive coordinator Al Borges and replacing him with Alabama's Doug Nussmeier.

Grade: B

Darrell Hazell - Purdue

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Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Darrell Hazell - Purdue

darrell hazell purdue
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Darrell Hazell's first year at Purdue was atrocious. The Boilermakers finished 1-11, but I don't think that's any sort of a lock for Hazell's future. The last coach to give it a run at Purdue was Danny Hope, who stuck around for four seasons and never won more than seven games. Athletic director Morgan Burke has shown his patience in the past; I think he'll give Hazell a fair shot at turning this ship around in the right direction.

Grade: C-

Gary Anderson - Wisconsin

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Gary Anderson - Wisconsin

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Gary Anderson should feel just fine at Wisconsin. He's under a great athletic director and has a very talented team ready to take the field this season. The Eastern Division is wide open, and my pick is Wisconsin. There's absolutely nothing to worry about right now in Madison.

Grade: A

James Franklin - Penn State

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James Franklin - Penn State

james franklin penn state
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

There isn't a chance in the world that Penn State lets go of James Franklin after his first season. I'm not going to "grade" a first-year coach. Besides, his immediate recruiting success already has everyone excited, and he's yet to coach his first game.

Grade: N/A

Jerry Kill - Minnesota

Jerry Kill
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Jerry Kill - Minnesota

Jerry Kill
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Jerry Kill isn't going anywhere. He has the wheels spinning in the right direction at Minnesota, and this 2014 season could very well end up being his best with the Gophers. Barring some sort of scandal popping up, Kill is absolutely safe right now at Minnesota.

Grade: A

Kevin Wilson - Indiana

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Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Wilson - Indiana

kevin wilson indiana
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Wilson's ride at Indiana has been a very interesting one. His offense can't be stopped, but his defense can't stop anyone. After blowing a wonderful opportunity to play in a bowl game last season (eight home games), I think that has to be priority No. 1 for the Hoosiers this season. If they fail to make a postseason game again this season, I don't think Wilson is out, but his seat becomes a very heated one.

Grade: C

Kirk Ferentz - Iowa

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Kirk Ferentz - Iowa

kirk ferentz iowa
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Kirk Ferentz began his stint with Iowa in 1999, and even though he hasn't won at an elite level with the Hawkeyes, his contract would make it extremely difficult for them to let him go. Obviously Iowa is a big fan of Ferentz, and as long as he continues to post eight- or nine-win seasons, he's fine as is.

Grade: A

Mark Dantonio - Michigan State

mark dantonio michigan state
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Mark Dantonio - Michigan State

mark dantonio michigan state
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

Mark Dantonio's job is one of the most secure in college football right now. Fresh off a Big 10 championship and Rose Bowl victory, Dantonio is a prized possession in East Lansing, and his teams in the near future don't figure to regress.

Grade: A+

Pat Fitzgerald - Northwestern

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Pat Fitzgerald - Northwestern

pat fitzgerald northwestern
Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

I don't think Fitzgerald has a reason to start sweating quite yet, but a very disappointing 2013 season is not helping any case he has to put together. I think Fitzgerald is a great young coach who deserves a break or two because of the potential, but another collapse like last year would at least have him nervous going forward.

Grade: B-

Tim Beckman - Illinois

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Tim Beckman - Illinois

tim beckman illinois
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Tim Beckman is heading into his third season with the Fighting Illini, and he is yet to win a conference game at home. In fact, he's only won one conference game and that was at Purdue. (Illinois did come close to stealing one in overtime last season at Penn State.) I believe the third year is the decisive year. I don't want to place a standard on the season, but anything that resembles the last two seasons is probably worth a firing.

Grade: D

Urban Meyer - Ohio State

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Urban Meyer - Ohio State

urban meyer ohio state
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Urban Meyer isn't going anywhere. Even if his team was "exposed" the final two games of last season, that didn't do anything to hurt his security -- not by any stretch of the imagination. He brings that winning attitude Ohio State loves to have around, and I'm sure the institution doesn't mind the natural publicity that comes with a guy like Meyer.

Grade: A+

Kyle Flood - Rutgers

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Kyle Flood - Rutgers

kyle flood 1 rutgers
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

I think Kyle Flood will be assisted by the transition to the Big 10. The results his Rutgers team posted in the AAC won't be expected to carry over to this conference, so my guess is there will be some lenience here. Personally, I think Rutgers gives him two years to improve in this conference before going on the hunt for a new coach.

Grade: B

Randy Edsall - Maryland

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Randy Edsall - Maryland

randy edsall maryland
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Randy Edsall is in the same boat as Kyle Flood, although I would argue Edsall's job is still more "secure" than that of Flood. I would be shocked if a poor debut in the Big 10 resulted in the firing of either one of these coaches, but especially Edsall, who currently has Maryland trending in the right direction.

Grade: B