You wouldn't know Paul Chryst if he tripped you.

That's because, being a native of Wisconsin, he'd probably say "please" first.

By way of formal introduction, Chryst is the head coach at the University of Wisconsin. Surprise, he's had the job for three years. Bigger surprise, he has done one of the best coaching jobs in the country this season.

The Badgers are one of four undefeated teams remaining, but their soft schedule has become more famous than their all-but-anonymous coach. That shouldn't diminish what either means to Wisconsin. In the third week of November, the Badgers will play only their second ranked team this season against Michigan.

That fact, critics suggest, is a big reason Wisconsin is 10-0 in the first place.

The coach, who turns 52 on Friday, has the 126-year old program off to its best start. The Badgers will look to remain undefeated with a coach who developed three 2017 opening-day NFL starters at quarterback (Russell Wilson, Scott Tolzein, Tom Savage). They will do it with a coach who played and coached at Wisconsin for a total of 11 years before ascending to head coach three seasons ago. They will do it with a coach whose 31-6 start is the best after 37 games by a Wisconsin coach since Phillip King in 1899.

But is the coach with the best record (tied with Alabama) the nation's best this season?

The field is crowded, as you will see below.

There are at least eight major national coach of the year awards (Munger, Amos Alonzo Stagg, Woody Hayes, Bobby Dodd, Bear Bryant, Gene Stallings, Walter Camp, Eddie Robinson). This year, there could be a different winner for each one.

The field is crowded within Chryst's own conference of past winners as Urban Meyer, Jim Harbaugh, James Franklin and Kirk Ferentz have combined for 15 national coach of the year awards.

Maybe that's not the point. Maybe Wisconsin is the team of the year. In their first game against a ranked team this season, the Badgers held Iowa to its fewest yards in the Kirk Ferentz era (66). Until that win, Wisconsin's best victory may have been over Lane Kiffin's FAU.

And now after release of the latest College Football Playoff Rankings, the No. 5 Badgers clearly control their own destiny. Finish 13-0 and they're in. There is a guarantee at least one team above them in the top four is going to lose because of the ACC title game (Clemson-Miami).

The central figure in any Wisconsin discussion is athletic director Barry Alvarez. Chryst would admit it himself. Alvarez is the one who led the program out of the wilderness as head coach from 1990-2005. Alavarez is the one who elevated Bret Bielema from his staff, then hired Gary Andersen and eventually Chryst.

Alvarez is the godfather of Wisconsin football, giving it a heart, an identity and any national love it continues to earn. But that's where it gets complicated. Anonymity is going to be a factor in any Wisconsin discussion going forward.

The offense is plug-and-play. A massive offensive line accented by the latest 1,500-yard Heisman candidate. This year, it's freshman tailback Jonathan Taylor. Simple, Midwest, effective.

The schedule includes Utah State, Florida Atlantic, Purdue, Illinois, Indiana. In the same Big Ten Division, Nebraska is almost a mirror image. Both programs are located in capitals of sparsely populated states. Both programs have little elite recruiting talent locally. Both had iconic former coaches guiding them (Tom Osborne at Nebraska). Only one has consistently competed for championships the last few years. Bielema led the Badgers to three consecutive Rose Bowls. Wisconsin is playing in the Big Ten title game for the fifth time in the seven years it has existed. It's already won twice.

You shouldn't have to hire a public relations firm to promote Chryst for national coach of the year, either. But that might be the case.

Let's take a look at the field.

Neal Brown, Troy: The LSU upset highlights a season in which the Trojans have won eight games and are in a three-way tie for the Sun Belt lead down the stretch. 

Paul Chryst, Wisconsin: Given the schedule, the 10-0 record isn't that surprising. But it's about to get tougher down the stretch. The Badgers control their playoff destiny.

Bill Clark, UAB: How can this guy not be a finalist for every major award around? Three years after the UAB program was killed, the Blazers and Clark have returned to win seven games. Look what complete destruction and $40 million (to resurrect the program) will get you.  

Butch Davis, FIU: A program with two winning seasons in its history is 6-3 and in the Conference USA running. The Golden Panthers beat Tulane four starters out. Their secondary features two walk-ons. Not a bad job by Butch.

Scott Frost, UCF: All Frost has done is take the Knights from from winless in 2015 to 6-7 in 2016 and now undefeated at 9-0 and No. 15 in the CFP Rankings. UCF is playing an exciting brand of football, and there's good reason he's one of the hottest names in coaching search circles these days with Florida and Nebraska likely on his tail.

Lane Kiffin, FAU: The Owls have won six in a row in Lane's first season. The hidden secret is that FAU's best players are left over from the Charlie Partridge administration. The seven wins are tied for the second-most in program history.

Mike Leach, Washington State: Armed with the nation's most productive quarterback (Luke Falk) and a surprisingly effective defense, Leach has a chance to win the first conference title in his 16-year head coaching career.

Jeff Monken, Army: The Black Knights have gone games without completing a pass this season. Monken is all-in with option football that is destined to push Army to the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy again. The Knights (8-2) are guaranteed back-to-back bowl seasons for the first time in 32 years.

Mark Richt, Miami: Many have tried to resurrect the Canes. Richt is doing it before our eyes. Georgia's former coach just engineered the biggest win at Miami in 15 years in only his second year. An ACC championship awaits.  

Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma: Handed the keys to a blue-chip program at age 33, Riley hasn't messed it up. Bob Stoops' former offensive coordinator has the Sooners on track for the Big 12, a playoff berth and Baker Mayfield as the favorite for the Heisman.

Nick Saban, Alabama: Been there, done that. Nick might as well retire the trophy. He's won 12 different national coach of the year awards. Four times he has been SEC Coach of the Year. Bama is No. 1 again and has a bit of an advantage with the foundation Saban has built. If Bama runs the table, its coach will win another coach of the year trophy.   

Kirby Smart, Georgia: Smart lost his starting quarterback in the opener, won at Notre Dame and still has the Bulldogs in playoff contention. Not bad for Year 2 of his head-coaching career.

Dabo Swinney, Clemson: Dabo has won this award before. The Tigers are defending national championships. In September, they became the first team to beat three top-15 teams in the first month of the season. Defense has been suspect lately.