29. Kirk Ferentz: Iowa
Ferentz has commanded the Iowa football program for the last 20 years — making him the nation’s longest-tenured coach. While Iowa has somewhat of a rich football history, it certainly pales in comparison to fellow Big Ten programs Wisconsin, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Michigan. Under Ferentz’s guidance, Iowa has accrued five Top-10 finishes in the AP Poll. He’s accumulated 142 victories during his tenure. This includes five seasons with double-digit victory totals, and only one losing season since 2007. Simply put, he’s an absolute master at taking the proverbial diamonds-in-the-rough and turning them into legitimate Big Ten talents. Ferentz’s proclivity for developing offensive line talent is also certainly something to take into account as well.
28. Clay Helton: USC
Though Helton surprisingly flies under the radar, he’s done a nice job since becoming the head coach of the premier program on the West Coast. In his two full seasons as commander of the SC program, Helton’s gone 27-9. He’s won at least 10 games in back-to-back seasons, and looks poised to sign yet another fantastic recruiting class. Above all else, Helton’s brought composure, steadiness, continuity, and consistency to a program which had been under immense duress in recent years.
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