Joe Knows Football. Paterno has 23 bowl victories, more than any coach in history, including two national championships (1982 & 1986), and is the only coach with the distinction of having won each of the current four major bowls – Rose, Orange, Fiesta, and Sugar – as well as the Cotton Bowl, at least once. Under JoePa, Penn State has had five undefeated, untied seasons, four of which (1968, 1969, 1973, and 1994) won major bowl games and were not awarded a national championship. The man is the definition of a classy college coach. So much in fact that the National Football Foundation, the guys that created the College Football Hall of Fame, changed the requirement that coaches have to be retired to be inducted, just so they could honor Joe Paterno.
As quoted by the AP the great JoePa had this to say of the upcoming battle with the Trojans,
“We’re delighted to have an opportunity to go out there to Pasadena and play against a team with the caliber and tradition of Southern Cal…All of our fans are excited. My team is excited. We realize we have a very formidable challenge in playing a team of the quality of Southern Cal, a team I think is one of the two or three best teams in the country. I hope we can go out there and be competitive with them. I’m a little bit nervous. This is a very, very impressive football team, Southern Cal. They do everything well.”
While JoePa’s had some 42 years to rack up his stats, Pete Carroll’s done quite well for himself in 8, including 7 consecutive BCS appearances, 7 consecutive conference titles, 3 national championship appearances and 2 national championship wins.
“[Coach Paterno’s] stood for college football and for football in general as a true icon in every sense of the word…He’s brought a tremendous energy and spirit to football and to the game, love of the game that will last forever. I see how feisty he is, how tough he is. I just marvel at all of the years and the excellence.”
One thing is certain: This New Years is special one. We couldn’t have asked for a better coached Rose Bowl.