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How Does Urban Meyer Compare To Other Potential Joe Paterno Replacements?

Urban Meyer is the latest name to join a long list of potential replacements for Penn State coach Joe Paterno. How does the former Florida coach compare to some of those other candidates, though? Let's investigate.

Meyer won two national championships at Florida and guided Utah to an undefeated season in 2004. He has a career record of 104-23 (an .819 winning percentage) and has a 7-1 record in bowl games. He's also coached two two quarterbacks, Tim Tebow and Alex Smith, who went on to become first round picks in the NFL draft.

Tom Bradley, currently Penn State's defensive coordinator, has been a member of Paterno's staff since 1980. Under his watch, the Nittany Lions' defense has consistently been among the top ranked defensive units in the country. Currently, his defense is seventh nationally in points allowed per game at 12.0 and fifth in yards allowed per game at 250.4.

Pat Fitzgerald is currently in his sixth season as head coach at Penn State's conference foe, Northwestern. He has a career record of just 36-31 and has yet to win a bowl game, however, he took the Wildcats from a 4-8 record in 2006 to a 9-4 record in 2008 and has appeared in bowl games in each of the last three seasons. At 36, he's one of the youngest coaches in major college football.

Kirk Ferentz, and Upper St. Clair native, is currently the head coach at Iowa. In 13 seasons with the Hawkeyes, he's compiled a 92-61 record and has earned at least a share of two Big Ten championships. He's signed to a contract with Iowa through the 2020 season.

Tony Dungy, former head coach of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts, was connected to Penn State early last winter. In his 13 seasons, Dungy posted a 139-69 record and won six division titles in addition to a Super Bowl victory in 2006.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.