The 25th Outback Bowl will feature a compelling old school vs. new school story line when coaches Joe Paterno and Urban Meyer meet in Tampa on New Year's Day.
Paterno, who will be 84 on New Year's, has over 400 wins in 45 seasons at Penn State. He's guided the Nittany Lions to two national championships, three conference titles and five undefeated seasons. Meyer's body of work is much smaller, but very impressive as well. The 46-year old has two national championships of his own, won with the Gators in 2006 and 2008, and has a career winning percentage north of .800.
Despite nearly a 40 year age difference, however, the two coaches share a solid relationship according to Paterno.
We spent some time together with him and his wife and my wife on a couple of trips and we have had a chance to socialize with them. He is honest. He isn't a show off or anything like that. He is very modest. He has a great feel for the game. I have looked at a lot of his tapes because he always seems one step ahead of who he is playing against. I like being around him, enjoy visiting with him, and spending time with him. We have spent some time talking on occasion about coaching philosophy and some of the problems that we have. Earlier in this conference call someone mentioned if it is tough to keep people up and well, you know it isn't easy. I spent some time talking to him about it, trying to learn from him and he has asked me some questions. We have had a good relationship and I have a lot of respect for him.