- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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It's finally time to settle our all-time Big Ten coaches tournament and declare a champion.
We began with 12 legends, and now we're down to the final two contenders. There's not much more left to say than to state the matchup:
No. 3 seed Nebraska's Tom Osborne vs. No. 4 seed Penn State's Joe Paterno
Paterno: For nearly half a century, JoePa was Penn State football. He won a record 409 games, plus two national championships (1982, 1986) and had four other undefeated seasons. He won all four major bowl games -- the Rose, Orange, Fiesta and Sugar -- and was the AFCA national Coach of the Year five times. Yes, his career ended in scandal and a huge chunk of his wins were vacated by the NCAA. You have to decide for yourself how much that affects his legacy.
Osborne: It's hard for any coach to gain near universal respect and admiration, but Osborne achieved it with his illustrious tenure at Nebraska. He went 255-49-3 in leading the Huskers to three national titles in a four-year span (1994, 1995 and 1997), and his teams never won fewer than nine games in a season. Sure, he didn't coach in the Big Ten, but Nebraska is a member school and he was instrumental in getting the school into the league.
Who gets the one shining moment as the winner of our tournament? Your votes decide, and the polling will be open through the weekend. Make sure to drop us a note saying why you voted the way you did. The best responses will run in our results post.
3dDan Murphy and Mitch Sherman
3dSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information
4dMitch Sherman and Dan Murphy