College football coaching showdown: Is Michigan or Penn State the better job?

The tricky part when comparing two college football coaching jobs is to avoid familiar pairings. The objective is to truly evaluate jobs that belong on the same tier.

For example, Ohio State and Michigan are reflexively grouped because of their storied rivalry, on-field history and, among other things, great coaches such as Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler. But when it comes to coaching jobs in 2021, there’s no comparison. Ohio State is in a different class. This doesn’t mean Michigan is a bad job. Michigan is, in fact, a very good job. But a full breakdown of those two positions is a waste.

A much more interesting job comparison is Michigan vs. Penn State. Both jobs carry high expectations to challenge for Big Ten championships and compete nationally. Both have strong resources, recruiting reach and history of success. Both jobs also present some obstacles, especially in trying to keep pace with and ultimately catch Ohio State in the East Division.

Much like the previous coaching job breakdowns, I will assess Michigan and Penn State in four major categories: history (both recent and long-term), resources and administrative support, recruiting location and access to talent and expectations and climate around the program. In addition to my own research, I surveyed coaches and other sources familiar with each program to gain a better understanding from the inside.

Is #GoBlue or #WeAre the better coaching job? Let’s find out.

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