The group in charge of college football’s coach of the year award, the Dodd Trophy, released their mid-season watch list and the Big Ten is well represented.
Big Ten coaches on the list up for coach of the year honors through the mid-way point of the season are…
Mark Dantonio – Michigan State
Kirk Ferentz – Iowa
Pat Fitzgerald – Northwestern
Urban Meyer – Ohio State
Massive oversight or is there a reason for the exclusion?
Reading over the information provided in the release announcing the watch list might provide a clue. Here is what the groups is looking for in selecting a winnner:
"Recognizing the head coach of a team which enjoys a successful football season while also stressing the importance of academic excellence and character, The Dodd Trophy celebrates the total football program.The head coaches named as finalists represent programs with the highest ideals of leadership, scholarship and integrity on and off the field — the three pillars of legendary coach Bobby Dodd’s coaching philosophy. Each of the finalists sit at the helm of programs with winning records, the nation’s top APR scores and graduation rates, and a strong commitment to community service."
This being Harbaugh’s first year back in the college game, perhaps the lack of “top APR scores and graduation rates” render him ineligible for the time being. There is no indication that the football program is suffering in terms of academic performance, but previous academic achievement and graduation rates would be attributed to the previous coaching staff.
Also absent from the list is Jim McElwain who is in his first year at Florida.
An updated watch list will be released next month so it will be interesting if Harbaugh makes the cut then, especially if he adds some more big wins.