Ohio State vs. Illinois: Ron Zook and 4 Other Coach of the Year Candidates

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Ohio State vs. Illinois: Ron Zook and 4 Other Coach of the Year Candidates
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

As the Illinois Fighting Ilini square off against the Ohio State Buckeyes, it's interesting to note the kind of turnaround both teams have had.

Ohio State, who won the Rose Bowl last year, had that win vacated, lost head coach Jim Tressel due to off-field allegations, along with starting quarterback Terelle Pryor, and have since struggled on offense and defense.

Illinois, however, is a different story.

In a make or break year for Ron Zook, he has turned Illinois around with a 6-0 record. They have become a much improved offense, a better defense, and are sitting with Michigan at the top of the Big Ten.

It's because of this drastic turnaround that Zook is a prime candidate for the Coach of the Year Award.

But Zook isn't the only one who has managed to put his team at such a high competitive level this season. There are plenty others worth consideration for this award midway through the season.

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