Last week, I took a look at the Big Ten's top two head coaches from major revenue sports -- Michigan State men's basketball coach Tom Izzo and Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel -- and debated who's better. I also asked Big Ten fans to weigh in on the matter, and not surprisingly, you did in large numbers.
(Several folks ripped me for not including Penn State women's volleyball coach Russ Rose in the post. As stated in bold type in the original post, I was looking for coaches in major revenue sports. That means football and basketball, period. Rose, by the way, is a phenomenal coach.)
OK, here's what you had to say.
Joe from Richmond, Ky.: Adam, lets chit chat for a second on something. Whats up with saying that Izzo is giving Tressel a run for his money on Big Tens best coach. Thats obsurd! I am a die-hard MICHIGAN fan so I like neither school but Tom Izzo is by far the best coach in the Big Ten. He is a genius and knows how to win. When it comes tournement time, NEVER count out MSU. Just in the past 2 years alone: 2 Final Fours, 1 National Title game appearance. Both of those teams were not expected to be in those positions yet they keep on coming. Do not forget that Izzo has the 2nd amount of tournement wins in the past decade only short of Roy Williams from UNC. He has the national title and most Final Fours of any coach in College basketball in the past decade. For a sport that has 64 teams in a playoff, his numbers are outstanding. 4 teams make the final four so that is a 6.25% chance of making the final four. Sure Sweater Vest has made BCS games on regular basis but when the Big Ten is down and gets an automatic bid and he cant win those games except last season...Izzo is the Choice.
Conner from Columbus, Ohio: In reference to your Izzo vs. Tressel article: Comparing coaching in football and coaching in basketball is night and day. In no other sport does a coach have as much/direct control over what's going on during play than a football coach. Coaching in football has far more decision making than basketball, which shows that a football coach's training, thoughts, decision making, philosophy, and coaching staff is much more important and has a much greater effect on the outcome of the game than that of a basketball coach. Izzo is an impressive basketball coach, but Tressel's accomplishments are far more impressive considering the general difference between coaching in the two sports.
Eric from Boston: In regards to Izzo vs Tressel, I'm going to have to go with Tom Izzo. He does his best work during crunch time (March Madness), where he needs to constantly adapt and game-plan for multiple new teams over the course of mere weeks. It's one thing to know the tendencies of your Big 10 brethren and do your best work there (Tressel), but it's completely different to consistently prevail in a one-and-done setting, against teams giving you their best every game. Conversely, disregarding this year's Rose Bowl, Tressel didn't have the best BCS track record. He could beat up on the Big 10, but would crumble against new competition. Couple this with the recruiting disparity, and I just don't see any way you can't go with Tom Izzo here.
Brad from Maumee, Ohio: Here's my thoughts on the Izzo vs Tressel comparison. Honestly I consider getting to the Final Four as winning a big one. Basketball is so much different than football in that regard. You have to win 4 playoff style games in 2 weeks just to get to the Final Four. You can't really compare it to football in that regard.Rick Patino: 1 nat championshipJim Boeheim: 34 years as head coach at Syracuse with only 1 nat championshipRoy Williams: 20 years as head coach at Kansas/North Carolina with only 2 nat championships. Both of those at UNC with NBA rosters. Superior talent than Izzo gets at MSU.Lute Olson: Over 30 years of head coaching at Iowa and Arizona with 5 Final Four appearances, but only 1 national title.There are several more great coaches with only 1 title.I know people won't like it, but getting to the Final Four was harder than navigating through a Big Ten Football schedule in the 2000s decade.I would give a very slight edge to Tom Izzo.
Logan from State College, Pa.: Tom Izzo by a wide margin. What Jim Tressel has done at a school with such high expectations every year is pretty amazing but here's the main flaw i find in the Tressel argument: BCS bowls aren't always given to the best teams. Ohio State has been in BCS bowls with 2 losses more than any other team has. College football is a huge money maker and the Buckeyes are one of the biggest harvesters of cash.Tom Izzo has made 6 final fours in 15 seasons with all six coming in the last 12 years (i believe it's 12 years, you might want to 2x check that). And anyone who thinks that college hoops in East Lansing aren't as important as footabll in Columbus, you're dead wrong. Why are 6 final fours more impressive than 7 BCS bowls? Well not only do you have to win to make the tourney, but YOU HAVE TO WIN TO GET TO THE FINAL FOUR! There are no contracts for it otherwise UNC, Duke, Kentucky, and Kansas would be invitees every year. Coaching in the post season for hoops is so much harder than gamplaning for bowl games. 2 games in 3 days against unfamiliar opponents and then the same thing 5 days later VS 6 weeks of prep for one game? I donno you tell me Adam.Tom Izzo, hands down.
Vincent from Fullerton, Calif.: In reference to the debate between Jim Tressel and Tom Izzo, doesn't this go back to who is picked to win the Big Ten every season (perhaps the reason why Tressel has never won B10 COY)?If you look at the number of Big Ten championships and overall winning percentage, coupled with recruiting, Tressel is the winner (and has a better win percentage in lesser years).