The Big Ten announced on Monday that Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio, Minnesota coach Mark Tocchet and Northwestern coach Chris Collins will be the coaches of the coaches final poll for the 2017 coaches championship.
The Big Ten is one of the biggest conferences in college football, having eight teams competing for a berth to the College Football Playoff.
Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, who will lead the Spartans to a College Football Championship title, and Minnesota’s Jerry Kill will be joined by Minnesota’s Paul Rhoads, who coached the Golden Gophers to the 2009 national title, as well as Wisconsin coach Brad Underwood, who is entering his ninth season as Wisconsin’s head coach.
Michigan State is also the conference’s first and only unbeaten team to win at least nine games since 2007, a season that also included two straight appearances in the national championship game.
The Spartans are also coming off a 26-23 season and a berth in the College Championship game, and they are looking to add a third consecutive title.
Izzo’s Spartans are in the midst of a historic 10-year run of winning at least 10 games and have reached the postseason in seven of the last eight seasons.
The poll, which will be administered by a panel of college coaches, will be open to any member of the Big Ten conference and is open to media.
Michigan will be represented by former Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, who was previously the head coach at Ohio State and Indiana.
The poll will be held on Jan. 11, the same day as the first Big Ten title game.
Minnesota coach Chris Spielman will serve as the interim coach for his final game.
Spielman has been the team’s offensive coordinator since the start of the season, leading Minnesota to an undefeated campaign.
The Redhawks are currently No. 6 in the Associated Press poll and No. 2 in the AP poll.
Collins, who has been with the Gophers for just one season, will serve in a similar role as offensive coordinator for the next season.
Collins and Spielman have been close teammates since they were both assistants in Minnesota from 2009-11.
Spielmann was the defensive coordinator for Minnesota from 2013-15.
Collins was the offensive coordinator during the 2013-14 season and helped the Gopher offense become a top-25 team in the country.
The Gophers finished the season ranked fourth in the nation in total offense and fifth in the conference in scoring.
Collins served as offensive assistant to Tom Izzard for the 2012-13 season, and Collins served as quarterbacks coach in the 2011-12 season, serving under Izzards predecessor, Tim Beckman.
He then spent three seasons as quarterbacks’ coach at Indiana.
Collins is also a former quarterback for the University of Minnesota.
Collins will continue as offensive coordinators coach for Minnesota.
Collins is also on the defensive side of the ball.
The 6-foot-1, 218-pounder was the team�s defensive coordinator from 2012-14 and served as the head strength and conditioning coach from 2013 to 2014.
He was the assistant head coach and linebackers coach for the Gombe Vikings from 2013 through 2015.
Collins also served as defensive backs coach for Izzo from 2013 until his dismissal following the 2016 season.
Collins played linebacker at Indiana and also spent two seasons at Wisconsin, helping the Badgers rank among the top 20 defenses in the Big 10 Conference.