- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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Who is the greatest Big Ten coach of all time? We're getting closer to finding out.
We're down to the elite eight in our Big Ten coaches tournament, and the second round is in full force. Our top four overall seeds received byes and are now squaring off against the first-round winners.
Our next second-round matchup features two legendary names from different eras ...
No. 3 Nebraska's Tom Osborne vs. No. 6 Chicago's Amos Alonzo Stagg
Stagg: There's a tendency to forget about Stagg, both because his school -- the University of Chicago -- no longer competes in the Big Ten or in big-time sports, and because his career took place in the early 1900s. But did he ever accomplish a lot, including 199 wins overall, 116 Big Ten victories and two national championships (1905, 1913). He also helped innovate many of the plays and formations in modern football and also contributed so much to basketball that he's in that sport's hall of fame, too. The Big Ten names its football title game trophy after Stagg.
Osborne: It's hard for any coach to gain near universal respect and admiration, but Osborne achieved it with his illustrious tenure at Nebraska. He went 255-49-3 while leading the Huskers to three national titles in a four-year span (1994, 1995 and 1997), and his teams never won fewer than nine games in a season. Sure, he didn't coach in the Big Ten, but Nebraska is a member school and he was instrumental in getting the school into the league.
Which coach advances? Voting is open through the weekend, and drop us a note as to why you voted the way you did. The best responses will run in our results posts.
3dBrian Bennett and Mitch Sherman