Two Big Ten coaches were named finalists for the Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award on Wednesday, though only one of them coached a Big Ten program this season.
Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst and Nebraska’s Scott Frost, who left UCF for the Cornhuskers’ head position earlier this month, each made the cut. Other coaches being considered are Clay Helton (USC), Gus Malzahn (Auburn), Jeff Monken (Army), Kirby Smart (Georgia) and Dabo Swinney (Clemson).
— AHA Wisconsin (@AHAWisconsin) December 13, 2017
After back-to-back 10-win seasons, Chryst was one win away from taking Wisconsin to the College Football Playoff in just his third year in Madison. The Badgers reeled off 12 consecutive victories without a blemish, which landed them in the Big Ten championship game. They couldn’t get past Ohio State, however, and settled for sixth in the final CFP rankings. They’ll play No. 11 Miami in the Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 30.
Frost also guided his former team, UCF, to a New Year’s Six Bowl. The Knights went 12-0 this season and won the American Athletic Conference championship game over Memphis, yet the nation’s only undefeated team finished 10th in the CFP rankings. They’ll go up against No. 7 Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Jan. 1.
The winner will be announced Jan. 10.