Do you Beilein in magic? Michigan’s coach now best in Big Ten

Michigan head coach John Beilein during last season's semifinal game in the NCAA tournament. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Michigan head coach John Beilein during last season’s semifinal game in the NCAA tournament. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Geoff Mehl headshotBy GEOFF MEHL, Guest Columnist

John Beilein is the best basketball coach in the Big Ten. That’s right, I said it.

There is one little caveat, though: he is the best coach in the Big Ten, right now. Though that seems like a bold statement, Beilein has his Michigan Wolverines playing better than any team in the Big Ten and that is hard to argue.

After handing the Michigan State Spartans their second loss of the season and their first in conference play, Michigan has taken a firm two game lead on the Big Ten (7-0). They’ve also defeated three top 10 teams nationally over the past week.

Beilein has his team rolling right now and it is in large part due to him. After losing Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. to the NBA last summer, Michigan fans were unsure what to expect from its young team.

After star center Mitch McGary went down for reportedly the rest of the season, the expectations dwindled. The fan’s only hope was this team could hold its head above water. They have due to Beilein.

After what was considered a shaky start for the Wolverines, going 6-4 in their first 10 games of non-conference play, Michigan has rattled off nine straight wins, seven of them coming in Big Ten action. The Wolverines, now 15-4 on the season, nearly defeated No. 1 Arizona before conference play.

Beilein has Michigan at 46-12 over the past two seasons with a Final Four and national championship appearance, compared to Tom Izzo who is 45-11 in that same span. The most important stat for Michigan fans is that the Wolverines have won five of their last seven again Izzo and his Spartans.

Michigan has begun to become a basketball school again under Beilein. He took over a failing program in 2007 and has raised them back to one of the country’s elite.

In his seven seasons as coach of the Wolverines, he has become the fourth in all time wins for the program with 137 and three straight 20-win seasons. He has won a Big Ten title and has made the dance in four of six years.

As a head coach in college basketball, Beilein has posted a winning record in 30 of his 35 season and owns a 688-407 (.690 percent) record. He has made the postseason 14 of 21 times as a Division-I head coach and has 18 20-win seasons. He’s well on his way for No. 19.

All that being said, Beilein should now get the credit he deserves. Not just from Michigan fans, but from the Big Ten and college basketball as a whole. He has brought Wolverine basketball back to prominence and given the state of Michigan back one it’s most favorite rivalries.

If John Beilein isn’t the best coach in the Big Ten right now, then I don’t know who is.