It appears Nebraska football's head coach mike riley still has some work to do in order to get the respect of the national media.

Nebraska football not an Athlon darling

Athlon magazine has just published it's ranking, one through 14 of the Big Ten coaches and there are bound to be some Nebraska fans who are a bit flummoxed with how low Mike Riley was ranked. At the same time, it's hard to argue that Riley should be ranked a whole lot higher in a conference that has quite a few coaches who have won quite a few games over the last few years.

The Nebraska head coach is ranked 9th out of the 14 coaches, meaning he sits ahead of just Purdue's Jeff Brohm (in his first year), Maryland's DJ Durkin, Illinois' Lovie Smith, Indiana's Tom Allen (also his first year), and Rutgers' Chris Ash.

In other words, Riley is only beating out coaches who have posted losing records, or never helmed their teams before.

While Athlon is certainly not sold on the Nebraska head coach, it doesn't appear as though they are writing him off either. The magazine does point out his less than impressive record since taking over in Lincoln. The publication also talks about how he managed to make Oregon State a contender despite how difficult a job it is at that school.

The problem with Athlon's list isn't neccesarily how far down Riley is on the list. There are a lot of really good coaches in the Big Ten. It would be hard to argue with Urban Meyer, James Franklin, and Jim Harbaugh being ranked ahead of Nebraska's head coach.

Kirk Ferentz, Mark Dantonio and Pat Fitzgerald can all sensibly be ranked ahead of Riley and Nebraska as well. Even Paul Chryst at Wisconsin gets a higher nod here, as Wisconsin is 2-0 against the Huskers since the two coaches took over their respective schools. The one choice that is ahead of Riley that sticks out is Minnesota's new coach.

Nebraska football has a complaint with number eight

Athlon has ranked the Golden Gophers' head man PJ Fleck ahead of Nebraska's Riley. While Fleck certainly did a lot with a little at Western Michigan, he has proved nothing in the Big Ten. This seems to be a pick about a personable and popular head coach, rather than accomplishments.

That is a big time departure from what Athlon appeared to do with the rest of this list. Riley hasn't proven he belongs in the top tier of the Big Ten just yet. Fleck hasn't proven he belongs in the Top 10 of the conference yet either. Nebraska football likely got treated a bit poorly in this regard.

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