Ohio State's Urban Meyer and Penn State's Bill O'Brien have been named finalists by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) for the 2012 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, whose winner will be revealed on Thursday, Dec. 13. Of the finalists, only Meyer previously has captured the FWAA coaching award, in 2004 during his final season at Utah. Coaches from current Big Ten schools have claimed the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award on 17 occasions, most recently by Ohio State's Jim Tressel (2002), Northwestern's Gary Barnett (1995) and Wisconsin's Barry Alvarez (1993). Last season, Michigan's Brady Hoke was named the national coach of the year by the Maxwell Football Club.
Meyer's Buckeyes completed the school's sixth perfect regular season in his first season at the school. Meyer won the award in 2004 at Utah and was a finalist in 2008 while at Florida. O'Brien kept the Nittany Lions focused despite an 0-2 start and capped an 8-4 season with a 24-21 overtime win over eventual Big Ten champion Wisconsin.