When it comes to ranking the nation's college football coaches, Michigan State's Mark Dantonio is in lofty company, according to The Sporting News annual report. The Spartans coach is No. 3 behind only Ohio State's Urban Meyer and Alabama's Nick Saban.
Not too far back, at No. 6, is Michigan's Jim Harbaugh.
Dantonio has accrued a sterling 53-14 record in five years while guiding the Spartans to Big Ten championships in 2010 (shared) and 2013.
Of Dantonio's future, SN writes: "Things just got interesting in the Big Ten with the arrival of Jim Harbaugh at Michigan, stoking the white-hot Michigan State rivalry and giving the Spartans two heavyweights to jump to reach the top of the Big Ten (and college football)."
Harbaugh's selection in the top-10 might be puzzling since he hasn't coached at the college level since 2010 at Stanford. He amassed a 40-22 record at San Diego (2006) and Stanford (2007-2010). He won a Pioneer League championship at San Diego.
SN writes about Harbaugh: "All of this happy-go-lucky, aw-shucks offseason banter from Harbaugh? Don't buy it. He's a shark. He's zeroed in on Ohio State and Michigan, and he'll win championships. Only a matter of how soon."
Ohio State's Meyer also leaped frogged Alabama's Saban for the top spot in the ranking. His Buckeyes won the Big Ten and National Championship last season and he's posted a 59-8 record in last five years, including his time coaching Florida.
Of Meyer SN says, "The only thing that stops Urb is Urb. He ended his run of success at Florida by allowing players to gain too much power and eventually control the team. Avoiding that trap is critical to future success."